Damage of June 1st tornado still visible in Brimfield

Hampden County

BRIMFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Memories of destruction haunt western Massachusetts residents who lived through the deadly June 1 tornado in 2011.

Hollow Road in Brimfield, where hillside homes came crashing down to the road below, still reminds those who come by of what was and what may never be again.

Forty-five-year town highway employee Ernie Blake sees stark reminders of how much the tornado impacted the Hollow Road landscape.

“We lost a lot of homes here, the landscape, the trees, they’re all gone. It’s the worst thing that I’ve ever saw, you know, terrible. Hope it never happens again,” said Blake. “It’s going to be a long time before things get back to normal here.”

It hasn’t been easy for Dave Bell to restart his towing business on Holland Road, where the tornado damage was brutal. He recalls being at Fenway Park watching a Red Sox game on June 1 when an employee called with bad news.

“It’s been eight years, customers all returned, they never forgot how we lost everything. We managed to pull ourselves out of the dumpster. It’s been tough, the trees are starting to come back,” said Bell.

What remains of what was once a thickly wooded hills across the street is a constant reminder of the terror that touched down almost eight years ago to the day.

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