WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – June 1st, 2011 is a day many western Massachusetts residents will never forget. An EF3 tornado with winds of up to 160 mph carved a path of destruction 38 miles long from Westfield to Charlton.
The Munger Hill and Shaker Heights neighborhoods in Westfield were some of the areas that were first hit by the tornado. Fallen trees and power lines made some roads impassable and part of the roof was ripped off the Munger Hill Elementary School.
“Nobody could even get through the neighborhood, the trees were everywhere. I did have friends that were still at school, their car got spun around in the air, it was terrifying,” said Bethany Liquori of Westfield.
“Well It was mostly the tops of the trees, we did have a couple that uprooted. We lost 32 trees in our yard and it was very scary. The power lines were all down,” said Carrie Salzer of Westfield.
You can see from SkyView22 that the school has been repaired but there are a lot fewer trees in the neighborhoods than there used to be.
The tornado then intensified as it moved through West Springfield and across the Connecticut River even passing directly over the Memorial Bridge.
In the Island Pond Road area of Springfield a lot of the trees are gone but most of the homes have been rebuilt or repaired.
The steeple on the First Church of Monson that was toppled by the tornado has been rebuilt at a cost of around $2.4 million dollars.
Homes that were completely destroyed in the area of Stewart Ave and Heritage Lane in Monson have also been rebuilt but the hillside still shows the scars of the tornado’s path.
Nearly 10,000 acres of woodlands were destroyed by the June 1st Tornado.