Friends of mine were driving back from Provincetown on Route 6 Tuesday when a radar-confirmed tornado touched down near them in South Yarmouth.

They described it as a wall of white rain that was impossible to see through. They're lucky they weren't injured as they were forced to stop on side of the road, the wind lashing out, making tree limbs airborne like arrows.

I met them at Market Basket an hour after it hit Cape Cod, as they described their fear, which they said reminded them of the images of Hurricane Bob, that descended upon the SouthCoast in August of 1991. At the height of tourist season for the Cape, it's a miracle there weren't many injuries or deaths.

The Cape Sands Inn Motel in West Yarmouth had its roof torn off, exposing the second-floor guest rooms to the open skies. Cleaning ladies were quick to run downstairs to the lowest section just before it hit. Drone video shows remarkable images of personal belongings left behind inside the rooms, pink insulation exposed, debris strewn all over the place–and it all happened in less than 10 minutes.

The number of uprooted and downed trees is unbelievable. Police have been warning tourists not to walk the roads for fear of live wires and gas leaks, but curious visitors have filled the roadways taking pictures and videos. Some tourists were shopping at a local supermarket and had no place to return to because of the widespread damage to their rooms and homes. As of this writing, there's no power to 50,000 customers in Yarmouth, Dennis, Harwich, Chatham, and Brewster. Folks who live there will be tossing their refrigerated food because of the days it will take to restore power. The area will take a long time to return to normal.

Neighbors are checking on their friends, and the stories of sounds similar to a freight train are being shared. The last water spout was videoed last October in Woods Hole with an F-Zero. Once a water spout goes onto land, it's name changes to a tornado. I'm sure there will be many rattled folks recalling the tornado of 2019 in the days to come.

I am so amazed and grateful that the human toll was very minimal.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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