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. Eric

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4oilWFohUc My personal video. Hit less then 1 mile from home.

    June 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • no name

      Wow, thanks for sharing. As someone from Oklahoma, I know the feeling of fear that must have been going through the hearts of those watching that monster.

      June 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lori

      Yikes!

      June 1, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoyfulGypsy

      Great video. Consider submitting it to CNN iReport, here: http://ireport.cnn.com/ir-topic-stories.jspa?topicId=612768

      June 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Carp;

    Significant damage reported in Monson, as well. Palmer is my hometown, and I just can't believe the damange I'm seeing on TV.

    June 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CBR

    Headline is poor. Check websites to see what happened. No headline worthy of CNN coverage. No political story or a story regarding Sarah!

    June 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • big Ble

      Oh yeah, because national disasters or tornadoes in places where there shouldn't be, where people have been injured or killed are less that Ms. Palin.

      June 1, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. denim

    I really like the image with this article, from the Channel 22 camera on their building. See the rail bridge upstream from the Memorial Bridge, and the way the water is moving.

    June 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. B's

    No electricity, how will they watch the Bruin's game

    June 1, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 2termlimit

    And citizens of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts will help our own. No one is screaming for the President to leave the dinner table and rush over with his FEMA checkbook.

    June 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CJD

    At least 5 reported sightings here in Western MA. I'm in Easthampton, MA

    June 1, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. cass

    As of 8 pm there were 4 confirmed deaths.

    June 1, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. satanluv

    I'm simply amazed how accurate the SCIENTISTS from the 90's who predicticed the future effects of global warming are...forget Nostradamus and the Mayan's...what do you have to say now j a c k a s s Republicans...pray to you dopey god now

    June 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. NFL

    Many damage photos from Main St. are taken looking through the First Church park toward the Civic Center, and lots of damage in the area – but no one shows the other direction – did the tornado jump over this historic site?? Built in the 1600s and just recently disbanded as a Congregation – please let us know how this special historic building fared!

    June 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Barney Frank (D-Mass)

    We the gay subculture should be tolerant of tornados. We should try and set a perfect example of tolerance. What's a tornado compared to AIDS?

    June 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. trickam5422

    America! America! God is calling us to a time of prayer, confession and repentance! These tornadoes are way too many to be accepted as normal or even the effects of climate change.

    I remember the Sunday after 9/11, television stations carried video clips of Americans filling up houses of worship. There was an atmosphere of solemnity and sobriety as Americans returend to their spiritual roots to find meaning in the sudden attacks on our soil that claimed over 3000 lives and shattered our sense of invincibility.

    This time around, we are actually being forewarned. The question is: are we paying attention?

    June 1, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • satanluv

      yeah god is a j a c k off....he can kiss my firey a s s

      June 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL!

      No, I don't pay any attention to myths.

      June 1, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Duane W

    I visited a summer in Adams and Springfield...sheesh I couldn't imagine this

    June 1, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. satanluv

    All Republicans should eat poison right now so they can be lifted up to the mountain top and escape the humiliation here

    June 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Martin

    This country has only begun to undergo severe judgement now that it's chosen leader has crossed the line, attempting to divide up the Land of Israel. Protect your assets, duck and cover.

    June 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
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