MEMA: 4 Dead in Mass. Tornadoes

Severe storms barreled through Western Massachusetts on Wednesday.

Law enforcement reports that a tornado touched down in Westfield, and later moved on to Springfield a little after 4 PM (pictured here). Damage was reported, including partial building collapses and roof damage. Some people were trapped in those buildings.

The National Weather Service also reported that the tornado touched down in Brimfield, Wilbraham, and Monson. In Sturbridge State Police say the tornado blew cars off of I-84, and knocked signs down.

MEMA has confirmed 4 storm related deaths, including one death in West Springfield. As of Wednesday night, rescuers were still going through several buildings from Springfield to Monson to Agawam looking for injured people. The deaths make today’s tornadoes the first deadly tornadoes to hit Massachusetts since 1995, and the deadliest since 1973.

Debris from the tornadoes fell up to 50 miles away in Upton and Framingham (damaged church in Monson pictured at right, courtesy of Chris McCray).

A second tornado struck Westfield and Springfield around 6 PM, causing more damage.

In the wake of the tornadoes, which impacted 19 Bay State communities, the Governor declared a State of Emergency and activated the National Guard. The intensity of the storms (as rated on the EF scale), will not be determined until National Weather Service officials can assess the damage thoroughly.

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