The National Weather Service has lifted the Tornado Watch for New London County, Southern Connecticut, Middlesex and New Haven County, but it's still in effect for Tolland County. The watch, which was issued at about 4:30 p.m. will remain in effect until 9 p.m. tonight.
The thunderstorm that blew through earlier this afternoon, meanwhile, has already caused a few problems. In East Lyme, lightning struck a manhole cover on Route 156 and blew it right out of the ground!
The incident occurred on Route 156 in East Lyme close to the exit/on ramp of the Rocky Neck Connector to 1-95. Police were directing traffic around the hole while a fire truck dealt with the problem at about 3:30 p.m. East Lyme's Department of Public Works was not called in because the manhole belongs to AT&T.
Power to the traffic light at the intersection with the I-95 ramp was also knocked out, however, so be extra careful if you're driving by the Bridal Mall until power is restored.
In the meantime, pay close attention to upcoming reports from the National Weather Service in case a tornado warning is issued.
What to do if a Tornado Strikes
If You're Inside: Seek shelter in the lowest level of your home, a basement or storm cellar. If you don't have one, go to an inner hallway or closet. Stay away from doors and windows and stay inside until the tornado has passed.
If You're Outside: Try to get inside but avoid buildings with long roofs (a school gym, for instance). These don't have many interior supporting walls. Seek support against the wall of a strong structure if you can't get inside. If you're stuck outside, find a low lying area such as a ditch and lie flat or crouch down and cover your head.
If You're in a Vehicle: Drive away from the storm. Get inside a building if possible. Do not get out of the vehicle and take shelter under a bridge or embankment. Generally speaking, you're safer lying in a ditch than you are in a vehicle but if you do leave the vehicle, make sure you're a safe distance away from it.