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Rare tornado touches down outside Boston, no deaths reported

By Scott Malone

BOSTON (Reuters) - Police and emergency crews in the city of Revere, Massachusetts, outside Boston scrambled to clean up after a rare tornado touched down on Monday, downing power lines, damaging homes and overturning at least one car.

The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down during a storm that brought heavy rains, lightning and flooding to Boston and many of its northern suburbs. State emergency management officials said they were not aware of major injuries or fatalities from the storm.

"Obviously we had a monumental storm come through our city early this morning," Revere Mayor Daniel Rizzo told reporters. "There's widespread damage, downed power lines, telephone poles, a lot of public buildings and homes that have been damaged."

Revere police reported extensive damage to homes and trees after the violent weather. Boston and cities to its northeast reported extensive street flooding from the storm, which dropped rain at the rate of 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5 cm) per hour, the National Weather Service said.

Live television video showed multiple buildings with roofs or walls partly pulled off and downed trees and limbs throughout the city. Rizzo said many windows and doors had been blown out at City Hall, prompting an evacuation of that building, which he said is not likely to be safe to reoccupy for several days.

Tornadoes are uncommon in Massachusetts, although a large spate of storms in June 2011 badly damaged downtown Springfield, in the central part of the state, killing three people.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Bill Trott)

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