Governor: At least 4 dead after Massachusetts tornadoes
Police and amateur radio operators say tornadoes were spotted in within a half-mile of downtown Springfield, Massachusetts.
June 1st, 2011
06:53 PM ET

Governor: At least 4 dead after Massachusetts tornadoes

[9:32 p.m. ET] At least four people have been killed in the tornadoes that struck western Massachusetts on Wednesday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said.

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[8:25 p.m. ET] Severe storms - including tornadoes - have left behind "many injuries" and extensive damage in western and central Massachusetts on Wednesday, Gov. Deval Patrick said.

Patrick also said he's received a report one person has died as as result of the storms. He said he has declared a state of emergency for Massachusetts and called up 1,000 National Guard members, who will be asked to help with cleanup and search-and-rescue operations.

"It's been particularly devastating in downtown Springfield," he said.

Patrick said he was asking school superintendents in affected communities to cancel Thursday classes so that rescue and recovery personnel could concentrate on cleanup.

The National Weather Service has said it received three reports of tornadoes in Massachusetts on Wednesday: at least one near Springfield; one near Palmer; and one near Sturbridge and Oxford.

Sandra Ahearn, a spokeswoman for the Western Massachusetts Electric Co., said 12,000 customers were without power in the utility's service area and that hard-hit areas might not have electricity until the end of the week.

[7:50 p.m. ET]  Trained weather spotters reported a tornado near Sturbridge, Massachusetts, at 7:25 p.m. ET, bringing to at least three the number of tornadoes that have been reported in the state Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

By 7:35 p.m., the suspected tornado was located near Oxford, Massachusetts, moving east at 30 mph.

[6:53 p.m. ET] Local law enforcement reported a tornado caused widespread damage near Palmer, Massachusetts, about 14 miles northeast of Springfield. The tornado was moving east at 35 mph, the National Weather Service said.

[4:51 p.m. ET] Witnesses reported a tornado near downtown Springfield, Massachusetts, on Wednesday as heavy thunderstorms swept through western Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

Police and amateur radio operators said tornadoes were spotted in a Springfield neighborhood and within a half-mile of downtown, according to a warning put out by the Weather Service. No confirmation of damage or injuries was immediately known, however.

Springfield is about 90 miles west of Boston.

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Filed under: Massachusetts • Tornadoes • Weather
soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. Professional Looter

    We tried building fallout shelters Joey. But we still don't know if they work. We never got to use them. Building storm cellars would be about as vain. A few would be saved, but not enough to justify building millions of shelters.

    June 2, 2011 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. Professional Looter

    But your ugly theory certainly holds water. "holds water" LMAO

    June 2, 2011 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. Redbull6

    Any word on nearby Westfield & Barnes AFB?

    June 2, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. jim

    You're just talking about a few bricks in the ground, not that much of a cost really. Certainly beats being killed by a tornado. BTW storm cellars have been proven to work as long as they're used and the warnings aren't ignored.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jules

    Does anyone know what the fujita scale rating was for any of these tornadoes?

    June 2, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      It was rated an EF3 by the National Weather Service from Westfield, MA to Charlton, MA

      June 4, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. ebonyqueen

    Much worst to come, all over America ! Like the pangs of pregnancy, the tides will grow stronger and stranger ! You will see things such as never before. Larger scale natural disasters, longer running twisters, greater floods, and much more. Soon the sleeping giants of the earth ( mountains) will blow their tops ! I am not an immagrant, but a forced migration ! forced ! SLAVERY was never atoned for ! the residual has left my community without the FAIR tranference of wealth ! ISAIAH 14:21-22 You are the generation to pay for what you enjoyed the benifits of. ill gottin gains

    June 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
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