MONSON, Mass. (WWLP) – It was 10 years ago that an EF3 tornado carved a path of destruction across western Massachusetts. 22News took a look at how the tornado changed the landscape in many cities and towns.
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.
Recently, we flew SkyView22 over some of the areas that sustained the worst damage.
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.
The school has been repaired but there are far fewer trees in the neighborhoods than there used to be.
The tornado 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 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.
Along Hollow Road and Haynes Hill Road in Brimfield, you can still see how the June 1st tornado has changed the landscape but many homes there have also been rebuilt.
Nearly 10,000 acres of woodlands were destroyed by the June 1st Tornado.