SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It was a weather event that’s engraved itself into the minds of people in western Massachusetts. 22News spoke with a member of the Springfield community about her memories of the June 1st tornado.

“Like a bomb went off. The houses were flatten,” said Debbie Wooding of Springfield. She remembers the EF-3 tornado that tore through her community in 2011 like it was yesterday. “A lot of them were completely off their foundations and just a pile of sticks.”

At the time of the tornado, she lived less than a mile away from the street she currently lives on. Her new home was right in the middle of catastrophe.

“My backyard was completely engulfed with everybody else’s trees, because its a large area,” said Wooding.

“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re getting there.”

Debbie Wooding, Springfield

Since then, she and her neighbors have rebuilt, replanted and grown as a community, and so have other areas of the region. Schools have been replaced, businesses have been built and more than a decade later, the community still bonding over the stories of that day.

“We’re talking about it. How the house fell down over the husband but that’s what saved him because everything else didn’t fall on him,” said Wooding.

According to Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, the work by the city and other organizations if finally nearing completion, “Everything else has pretty much been completed, but when you look at what has occurred, the rejuvenation of the Central Street corner, the new Brookings school, Central Street, all the things we’ve done around Springfield College, it’s just tremendous.”

A new landscape forming from destruction and a community has grown stronger everyday.