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.


[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. Zach

    i can confirm this. There is a tornado that originated in Westfield Mass, moved through West Springfield, across the connecticut river into down town springfield and is now in Hamden Mass.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wendy

      trying to reach parents in Hampden – no service – where did the tornado touch down?

      June 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      people in hampden are fine

      June 1, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jinx

    Showing us once again that there is no place in the United States a tornado can't affect.
    Last time I looked, Massachusetts is nowhere near Tornado Alley.

    June 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Apparently you missed recent references after Joplin to the deadly 1953 tornado in Worcester which killed 94 people. It was an F4, and there have been four F4s in recorded New England weather history. In case you don't want to bother yourself: the others were in West Stockbridge, MA, Windsor Locks, CT, and Great Barrington, MA.

      June 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Trish

    And it is sunny here over the boarder in Enfield, CT go figure SMH

    June 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      Did u really say smh on a weather website? Tis not facebook

      June 1, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL!

      It's not a weather website, either. It's a news website.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sean Haley

    Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, heavy damage according to Jill Haley, Training Programs Coordinator

    June 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martha

      Do you mean the Pioneer Valley Humane Society in Springfield? Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society is in Leverett, north of Amherst. More than one tornado?

      June 1, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      @Martha. Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane has facilities in both Leverett and Springfield. They purchased the building when the MSPCA moved out of town. There is no humane organization operating in western MA by the name "Pioneer Valley Humane Society." there is only Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society and a few smaller orgs... Our thoughts are with both the people and animals at Dakin's Springfield facility. All are confirmed as safe.

      June 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. casey

    you want to know why watch Nuri Muhammad's Lecture "The End" then just honestly THINK that is if you can overlook any prejudice

    June 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Michelle

    Does anyone have any more information about exactly where this tornado hit and what the damage was? Was anyone injured or killed?

    June 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • layla

      Damage in Springfield is significant and there are reports of people being trapped under debris... no word on the number of injuries. Warnings are still in effect for areas south of the Pike, Western Mass near NH border and Worcester County.

      June 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      One confirmed dead in Springfield. Tree fell on the car

      June 1, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      It's about time CNN has something on this. It was all over FOX and MSN 3 hours ago. Tornado started in Westfield -> West Springfield -> over the Memorial Bridge -> DownTown Springfield. Heavy damage in all three cities. 1 death in West Springfield tree fell on his car. Still not over. The WWLP skycam footage is amazing. It just missed the Basketball Hall of Fame.

      June 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jason

    it hit west spfld, went right over memorial bridge into downtown springfield. plenty of damage, you cant drive in springfield and apparently the news is suggesting theres another one forming in westfield.

    June 1, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Re

    video is here

    June 1, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tornado Advisor

    Read this article, it's very useful for your survival during Tornado crisis

    June 1, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rev. Daniel W. Blair

    God Bless these folks who must undergo these tragedies. Friends, every Christians must go thru the Great Tribulation before Jesus Christ returns. And when He does we know that it will not be a secret rapture because “every eye shall see.” (Rev. 1:7) “For as lightning comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Mat. 24:27) I am dedicated to helping Christians learn how to stand firm and not be easily shaken by the distress coming upon the world in the last days. No matter how bad it gets remember that God loves you and He hears your prayers. Posted by Rev. Daniel W. Blair

    June 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL!

      lol, what a load of smegma that post is.

      June 1, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kent Bowen

      Re: I am dedicated to helping Christians learn how to stand firm and not be easily shaken by the distress coming upon the world in the last days.

      How much is this going to cost me? I'm talking dollars, dinero, not my soul.

      June 1, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Faisal

      thank you. Rev. Daniel W. Blair

      June 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Noah

      Dumbest. Post. Ever.

      June 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don leblanc


      June 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Liza

    please check out

    June 1, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joey

    To the Rev. Daniel W. Blair:
    Would you be kind enough to tell us in what denomination you were ordained as a minister?

    June 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don leblanc

      Probably one that reads the bible. If you disagree with him yet claim your a christian you know nothing, read your bible and actually be a christian, are you even born again as you obviously are insinuating he is some lunatic preacher lying read the Bible and pray, youll know its not a joke..

      June 1, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. J

    Tornado first hit around 4:30. WWLP 22news skycam captured the tornado footage as it made it's way across the Connecticut river.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kent Bowen

    Glad CNN finally figured out there was a significant tornado in Springfield, MA. had it on its front page well before CNN. And, the weather channel had photos and video before CNN or MSN had anything.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Eric

    This is my own video twister was less then 1 mile from my home.

    June 1, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
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