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. jim

    Let me make it as clear as I possibly can my heart goes out to any one affected by any kind of disaster.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. merle

    my wife has good freind in chelmford ma any one know if there was damage there cant allways get hold of him god be with u have faith

    June 1, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lynne

      My parents are there. Everything's fine.

      June 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      we have family in chelmsford... i think all is ok there

      June 1, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    It went right by my window at work. So scary.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jim

    Well there's one idiotic family the world could definitely do without. Haven't they thrown any of them in jail yet for inc est?

    June 1, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jim

    @barb, I'd also say that your joke about the only thing to look forward to in the mid west is seeing a tornado was rather heartless also.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. satanluv

    I have saw the errors of my flawed beliefs and have turned my life over to the true one who can save me. .thank you Jesus! you are real!

    June 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. meee

    Whooosh!

    June 1, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gloglos

    Rejoice! We shall see Him in the blink of an eye. God is all. God is everlasting. God is Love and never abandons us. Yes even in the darkness. Have Faith....God Bless us all.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sjm

    How unfortunate that people must everything about religion as a way to justify the misfortunes of others. Gay, straight, black, white, purple, green, men, women- whoever you are, whatever your lifestyle, wherever your from, and whatever you believe- my thoughts are with you as you struggle to pick yourselfs up after such an unexpected hardship.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jazzzzzzzz

    But remember, we must turn away from ourselves and towards God before he will save us. nothing is free not even Gods love. Our love wasn't free... just ask Jesus" .

    June 1, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. yaaay!!!

    Fred is right

    June 1, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. satanluv

    I wan to emulate the apostle Paul. .spread the word!

    June 1, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dan

    All the reports I see seem to be at least partially inaccurate and most leave out important details. For example, the tornado that hit Sturbridge was actually between 5:00 and 5:30 pm ET. I saw the damage with my own eyes, and it was well before 7:00 pm ET. Also, he tornadoes (and believe me, I'm not so sure all of them were separate) devastated Monson, Massachusetts, something that nobody outside of Massachusetts seems to be reporting.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. Enrod

    More financial excesses will not resolve current dangers

    June 2, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joey

    Enrod's comment reminds me of the general response to my advocacy of storm cellars, the complaint that they cost too much.
    I think that they're unpopular partially because they're ugly.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
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