BRIDGTON – All it took to undo Alan Barton’s hard work was a brief, fierce tempest.

Barton’s seasonal home was one of several on Woods Pond Drive damaged Thursday when storms swept through New Hampshire and Maine.

Though a tornado was confirmed in New Hampshire, the damage in Bridgton was caused by “straight line winds” – strong winds, in other words – the National Weather Service said Friday night.

The west shore of Woods Pond, east of Shawnee Peak ski area, was littered with fallen tree trunks and branches, many of which struck buildings on their way down.

“I heard a tremendous cracking sound and I thought, ‘Boy, I wonder where that’s falling,’ and it fell right on the house,” Barton said.

Barton, of Walled Lake, Mich., bought the cottage in December and had been working to restore and rebuild it for the past 10 weeks. He said he was completing the work when the tree fell on the cottage.

Damage included holes in the roof and chimney, and recessed lighting was shaken out of the ceiling.

Barton said he believes the area may have been hit by a tornado because the violence was over in less than a minute and included “deafening” noise.

Bob McDonald of Littleton, Mass., said his cottage on Woods Pond has been in the family since 1966. A fallen tree damaged some of the roof and an entryway and ripped a hole in the side of a shed. McDonald said someone stole tools from the shed after it was damaged.

“I’m glad I wasn’t here when it happened,” McDonald said. “We’re lucky it’s still standing.”

Clifford Whynot of Ipswich, Mass., said his house escaped major damage. On the edge of his property, a tree had toppled onto the roof of a neighbor’s cottage, uprooting a drainage pipe.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life,” Whynot said.

Police said more damage occurred on Wildwood Road, which runs along the east shore of the pond. Several fallen tree branches were visible on the road and utility crews were working to repair lines.


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