WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – No damage was reported in Westfield and Southwick, though people there were on high alert when the National Weather Service issued that Tornado Warning for the area on Wednesday.
Once the rain came down, it came down fast. It was blinding to drive in. Some motorists pulled over to wait it out while others dared to challenge mother nature.
Julia Millay was driving from Agawam to Southwick when the National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for the area.
“When you looked up you could see the dark. It almost looked like a funnel. It looked like it was about to touch down, but then the sun on the other side,” she told 22News.
Nicole Megazinni of Agawam was following the same route. She too saw the dark skies. She, like many others, have a heightened awareness for severe weather.
“It seemed to certainly come out of nowhere. We’re here now and it’s sunny,” she said.
That heightened awareness in the wake of Hurricane Dorian decimating the Bahamas and stalking the Florida coast. Megazinni said her mother lives in Florida and spent days preparing for the worst.
“They live just inland of West Palm Beach so they were very ready,” Magazinni said.
That’s good advice for people in western Massachusetts. After all the Pioneer Valley isn’t immune to disasters, specifically tornadoes.
“I used to work in the ER at Baystate. So I knew the people there who were affected by that. Just seeing where it had ripped through. The devastation it caused in Springfield,” Millay said about the tornado that ripped through western Massachusetts in 2011.
That tornado happened eight-years-ago. Springfield’s South End was one of the hardest-hit areas.