Thursday, June 02, 2011

This Ain't Kansas, Toto, but...

Yesterday, as many of you already know two or more tornadoes descended onto the Greater Springfield area yesterday around 430 pm.  The path of the tornadoes although fairly clear did not distribute the damage evenly.  Some neighborhoods in Springfield, West Springfield and Monson, the communities that received the brunt of the damage, experienced significant damage.  Others simply experienced power losses and downed trees.  The New York Times and Boston Globe reported a total four deaths last night due the storm in both Springfields and Brimfield.

Last night, Senator John Kerry arrived in Springfield with Gov. Deval Patrick.  Both pledged the full resources of the federal and state governments would be made available to communities.  Kerry predicted that the Springfield area would receive a federal disaster designation, which would unleash more federal assistance.  Kerry, Patrick and having arrived today, Senator Scott Brown, took a helicopter tour of the damage and surveyed Monson by foot.  Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno promised that the city would rebuild.  West Springfield Mayor Ed Gibson said some areas of his city were practically demolished.

At this time it appears that the South End in Springfield and West Springfield near Memorial Avenue was hit the hardest in those communities.  Monson generally was hit pretty hard.  Damage has been reported throughout Western and Central Massachusetts.  We will be back later today with a more thorough roundup as well as our observations from an late morning tour of downtown Springfield.

For now, please check out our photos from that tour here.  The Boston Globe and Masslive also have good photos and video from the storm and the ensuing damage.  If you would like to help, you may contact the Red Cross at their website or 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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