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Our turn for bad weather

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While my parents and I were out this afternoon, we stopped for lunch, and overheard mention of a tornado watch for Worcester County, Ma., until 8:00 P.M. As we drove back home, the rain came hard and fast.

When we got home, I turned on the TV, and saw the following:

Beautiful, architecturally-rich Downtown Springfield (WMass) looks like downtown Beirut c. 1983.

West Springfield and Westfield (neighboring and about eight miles west of Springfield, respectively) were nearly leveled along many of their beautiful, tree-lined streets. 100-year-old solid brick factories were reduced to rubble.

The Town of Monson (about fifteen miles east of Springfield,) was nearly leveled in its entirety.

Several other cities and towns, including Wilbrham, Chicopee, Brimfield, and Sturbridge, all suffered some damage of note. A few other places had downed limbs and missing shingles, minor damage like that.

Most of Worcester County (more central Massachusetts) escaped any damage, except for right along U.S. Rt. 20.

Four people did not live to see the end. Thankfully, not a repeat of Joplin in that respect.

For those interested, the video can be seen at WBZ, Channel 4, Boston, http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/06/01/gov-patrick-declares-state-of-emergency-after-tornadoes-touch-down/ and Springfield's WWLP, Channel 22. http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/news/local/hampden/Tornado-touches-down-in-downtown-Spfld

Charlie Larkin

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Posted · Report post

It has been a terrible season for sure. Living in northeast Oklahoma we see it every year, some mild and some extreme.

It makes me cringe when I here of an outbreak in states that it is uncommon. Sad that there was a lose of lifes but thankfully it was as deadly as it could have been.

Our prayers go out to the families and hope for a speedy recovery.

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Posted · Report post

Kinda scary to see that devastation, especially in a place that typically doesn't see that type of weather. Hopefully the worst of the tornado weather is behind us but then again all they talked about yesterday was the start of Hurricane season!

I was in eastern Virgina last week and saw some buildings and areas that were destroyed in a mid-April tornado outbreak. There was an elementary school that had the back half of it leveled and there was an area of trees that looked like someone took a chainsaw and cut them all down.

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I've read that the unusually high number of tornadoes so far this year is due to the fact that the Gulf of Mexico is warmer than it has been in the recent past... so when the cool Canadian air that rides in from west to east on the jet stream hits the unusually warm and humid air coming up out of the gulf, the storms that result are bigger and stronger than they would typically be.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

We started seeing the full measure of the devestation this morning on the 6:00 AM news.

I'm still having trouble fathoming the amount of destruction that happened. Entire blocks reduced to rubble and kindling. The personal property destruction.

This is simply incredible. And not something I care to see happen again.

Springfield, which had already been in serious trouble after nearly going bankrupt, just coming off of control by the Commonwealth, and finally starting to get itself back together after nearly fifty years of neglect and poverty growth; for it to be hit with devastation like this is something it really didn't need.

In Brimfield, a small wrecking yard that did a fair amount of business in antique car parts was also leveled. There were some pictures on the news from there that the two guys that own it shot. A solid concrete building reduced to rubble in less than a minute from what was being said. The yard's inventory was thrown around the yard and even across Holland Rd. like a little kid playing rough with Matchbox cars. Absolutely unbelievable. I've seen the pictures and still can't believe it. Several campgrounds were leveled, and a small mobile home park (actually a very nice one,) in a nice little grove of trees was devestated and a lot of those beautiful conifers and maples turned into matchsticks.

Every church in Monson (four or five total) had its steeple removed. The Congregational church's bell, a gigantic bronze piece, was, from what we can tell, flattened like a pancake under all the weight of the steeple. The Catholic church, a large stone structure, is in ruins. People in Monson, who couldn't even get out of their town, were asking news crews to go to Palmer (next town west and somewhat north,) to go get milk and minor items because the little IGA there was torn to shreds.

I can't believe what I'm seeing.

This is the report from Monson this morning from WWLP in Springfield. http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/news/local/hampden/Confusion%2C-devastation-in-Monson

Charlie Larkin

Edited by charlie8575

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Posted · Report post

You can't mess with Mother Nature. I see there's floods for the midwest. Hurricane season started yesterday and I'm worried about it. Our temperatures have been warmer than normal and that has raised the temp of the Gulf of Mexico. Warm Gulf water is good for helping hurricanes form.

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