Police & Fire

Meteorologists in Maine find evidence of downburst but no tornados after intense storm

By Ethan Andrews, Bangor Daily News Staff

A mile-long path of uprooted and snapped trees starting just north of Brownville Junction was not the work of a tornado but a downburst, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS office in Caribou surveyed several areas of Aroostook, Penobscot, and Piscataquis counties on July 1 looking for signs of tornado damage after an intense storm passed through Maine on June 30.

In Brownville Junction, in the Piscataquis town of Brownville, the NWS meteorologists found about 10 medium-to-large pine trees snapped on Front Street, and 20 to 30 uprooted and 10 snapped trees in a wooded lot on Route 11.

Several camper awnings, tents and some large pieces of decor were damaged in an RV park on the east side of Route 11 and a canoe on top of the RV park sign was blown to the ground, the NWS reported.

Further north on Route 11, individual trees were snapped bringing down power lines in several locations.

The damage, the NWS said, was “indicative of straight line winds.”

The NWS describes a downburst as “powerful winds that descend from a thunderstorm and spread out quickly once they hit the ground.”

The winds in Brownville were clocked at 70 mph.

The meteorologists reported finding no evidence of tornado damage on multiple paved and dirt roads they surveyed to the north of Haynesville and southeast of Sherman, where the rotation was strongest on the radar.

“This does not necessarily mean no tornado occurred, but just that no evidence was found of tornado damage,” the NWS Caribou office wrote.

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