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Residents survey damage after the tornado touched down in Mansfield and North Attleboro

MANSFIELD – Communities in Mansfield and North Attleboro are picking up the pieces after an EF-1 tornado swept through neighborhoods.

All in all, neighbors said it felt like it happened in a flash, but the damage is long-lasting.

“You think it won’t happen to you, and then it does,” said Tom Copeland, whose home was damaged by a fallen tree. “It’s just kind of surreal because it was so fast.”

The storm rolled on as Ava Francis was filming video, and then suddenly a towering 10-foot tree fell down and crashed into her sister’s boyfriend’s car.

“I was shocked,” Francis said. “But I was like ‘I’m glad it’s not my car,’ but I felt so bad because he was about to leave for work, and I had to break the news, so I was like ‘this is not good.'”

The same tree fell on the Copelands’ garage as they crouched inside.

The garage was covered with a blue tarp where water gushed in.

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“Suddenly the wind picked up and I saw a branch come down from one of the trees in the backyard and then I heard and felt the house shake,” Copeland said.

The tornado continued its raging course around the corner. The force uprooted two trees, threw them on top of the Driscolls’ house, and scattered branches across their yard. Fortunately, the family stayed close together until the storm passed, but the crew had their jobs to do after that. Maureen Driscoll said she was on her way to work when her husband warned her a storm was coming.

“It’s just crazy times. This weather has been insane, we got the alert on our phone which was huge,” said Driscoll.

The twister twisted trees in half and even landed on a nearby baseball field.

It then bounced more than eight miles to North Attleboro, where it knocked down trees around a home.

The extensive damage is shocking, but neighbors are thankful no one was hurt.

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“All of this is expendable,” Driscoll said. “It’s very shocking to come and see all this, it’s years of work and it’s our house.”

“I’m thankful and I’ll be fine,” Copeland said.

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