How often do you hear of tornadoes in Massachusettes or New England ?? Is it just me or are there severe weather patterns hitting in places they never used to ??
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Rev. Bob Marrone was pained to see the steeple of his 137-year-old church shattered and strewn on the grass in the central Massachusetts town of Monson, yet he knows he's more fortunate than some of his neighbors who lost their homes after tornadoes tore through the state, killing at least four people and injuring about 200.
"I can see the plywood of roofs, and see houses where most of the house is gone," said Marrone, pastor of The First Church of Monson. "The road that runs up in front of my house ... There's so many trees down, it's completely impassable."
Residents of 18 communities in central and western Massachusetts woke to widespread damage Thursday, a day after at least two late-afternoon tornadoes shocked emergency officials with their suddenness and violence and caused the state's first tornado-related deaths in 16 years.
Sens. John Kerry and Scott Brown joined Gov. Deval Patrick on a helicopter tour of the damaged areas, including Springfield, the state's third-largest city. Kerry said it looked like a "blast zone" and was confident that federal disaster aid would be made available, particularly because of damage to businesses.
Patrick said it was unbelievable that so much destruction was caused in such a short period of time.
"We have a real mess on our hands," he said. "People are badly shaken. There are folks who have lost everything."
Two people were killed in West Springfield, one in Springfield and another in Brimfield, Patrick said earlier. Public health officials said about 200 people sought medical treatment for storm-related injuries.