BRIMFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Tuesday marks 10 years since an EF-3 tornado tore across communities in western Massachusetts. One of those towns hit hard was Brimfield.
22News spoke to one man 10 years ago when the tornado happened. When we called on Tuesday, he said he was too emotional to speak with us. That’s the impact of this disaster, 10 years later.
In Brimfield’s Hollow road neighborhood, you can see where the forestry is cleared on the hillside, where the tornado came through, compared to the lush greenery next to it. It’s a similar view in the Haynes Hill Road neighborhood, with stumps of trees lining the skies.
The town lost many homes to the 2011 tornado that cut a 40-mile path from Westfield to Charlton.
Three people died in the tornado, one of them was at a campground in Brimfield when the storm came through.
Sturbridge resident Carl Nielsen told 22News, “I just drove past where it went through and I’m making a mental note to myself all those trees that all had the tops ripped off. The tornado twisted the tops off the tree and left the trunk standing, and they’re still standing.”
The tornado actually reached it’s maximum width of approximately a half mile while going through Brimfield. A total of 39 houses were destroyed in the town.
Tree experts told 22News it would take 30 to 40 years for all of the trees to grow back.