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Remembering the 1979 Windsor Locks tornado

3 people were killed and hundreds injured.

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn — Monday marks the 43nd anniversary of the tornado that killed three and tore a path of destruction across several towns.

The F4 storm touched down in the Poquonock section of Windsor, heavily damaging the elementary school. Since schools had half days on Wednesdays in Windsor, there were only a small number in the building. The Poquonock Community Church took a hit as well.

 It left many houses in the Colonial Village neighborhood damaged or destroyed.

Due to the rarity of tornados in the Northeast, there was no warning sounded at the time of the storm.

RELATED: Thunderstorms roll across Connecticut; outages and road closures in Norfolk

From there it followed Route 75 north into Windsor Locks and fell apart as it reached Suffield, however winds caused damage into Agawam Massachusetts. 

In 2019, WIN-TV, the community access channel produced a documentary on the storm. 

A United Airlines jet landing at Bradley International had to break off its approach during the storm.

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The roof of what is now the Days Inn was torn off. Just across busy Route 75 was the outdoor exhibit for what is now the New England Air Museum. Over 90% of the planes there were damaged. Helicopters at the Connecticut National Guard base were also damaged.

Estimates at the time pegged the total damage at nearly $200 million, or more than $800 million in today’s money.

RELATED: Remembering the tornado that struck Western Mass. 5 years ago Wednesday

Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.


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