Springfield, Mass., Battered by Deadly Tornado - Springfield, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 42° 05.940 W 072° 35.521
18T E 699119 N 4663574
Quick Description: A rare F3 tornado that plowed through central Massachusetts from West Springfield to Sturbridge was captured on video strengthening over the Connecticut River.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 9/14/2011 7:01:20 PM
Waymark Code: WMCJYQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 2

Long Description:
Simpsons, take cover!

In Springfield, Massachusetts, damage can be seen weeks later from the tornado, rated EF-3, that crossed the Connecticut River and plowed eastward into the city and east for about thirty more miles. Amazing pictures and video were obtained and posted by many news sources. The article selected with two videos, from the CBS Network, hopefully will be long lasting.

The video, approximately 2 minutes long, of the tornado crossing the Connecticut River is at the top of the article page. The footage is a mesmerizing documentation of the interaction of air, water, and land to form such an awesome, but dangerous event. The video was recorded from a tall building in downtown Springfield - probably the television station. The view looks roughly west into the town of West Springfield. The tornado vortex is visible in the first frame across the river and on the other side of the railroad bridge. The vortex fairly translucent at this time, whirls counterclockwise as it slowly moved across the railroad bridge, then down the river and landed on the bank and moved off to the left into the city. As it crossed the river, water was drawn from the river and spiraled in toward the core. Other debris can be seen in the air.

The article continues to relate the story. This waymark will concentrate on Springfield and West Springfield.

...Residents of 18 communities in central and western Massachusetts woke to widespread damage Thursday, a day after at least two late-afternoon tornadoes shocked emergency officials with their suddenness and violence and caused the state's first tornado-related deaths in 16 years.

Sens. John Kerry and Scott Brown joined Gov. Deval Patrick on a helicopter tour of the damaged areas, including Springfield, the state's third-largest city. Kerry said it looked like a "blast zone" and was confident that federal disaster aid would be made available, particularly because of damage to businesses.

Patrick told CBS' "The Early Show" Thursday that it's "remarkable" the death toll wasn't higher.

"We got very little warning," Patrick told "Early Show" co-anchor Erica Hill. "The mayor told me yesterday when I spoke with him, the mayor of Springfield, that they had about 10 minutes warning before the first and most powerful of the tornadoes hit. So it's remarkable, frankly, that we didn't have more widespread personal injuries than we have had. Although it is early days and we're still checking on all."

The governor said police and firefighters were going door to door in Springfield to assure that no one was trapped in damaged buildings. Patrick told Hill that about 300 survivors were being housed in an event-center-turned-shelter Thursday morning.

The tornado came out of nowhere, an eerie image of churning winds and spinning debris over the Connecticut River, CBS News correspondent Whit Johnson reports. It ripped through the center of Springfield right in the middle of the afternoon rush hour, catching people off guard and running for cover. The tornado, a rarity in this part of the country, was recorded as an F2, the strongest to touch down in Massachusetts in 45 years.

Patrick said it was unbelievable that so much destruction was caused in such a short period of time...

...Two people were killed in West Springfield and another in Brimfield, authorities said. A Springfield death previously blamed on storms may have been an unrelated heart attack, Patrick said Thursday. Public health officials said about 200 people sought medical treatment for storm-related injuries...

An article from another source reported in June 4 that the tornado was rated as an EF-3, which means that the winds were between 136 and 165 miles per hour.

Tornados like these are rare but not unprecedented in Massachusetts. The great Worcester Tornado, in 1953, likely an F-4 or 5 tornado, was a massive cyclone that killed 94 and still ranks among the most damaging (by dollar amount) tornados in the country. But that was then.

The waymark is located about where the tornado crossed the east riverbank and passed into the city. The location in the video is south (left) of Memorial Bridge, the road bridge, which has lamp posts, and is on this side of the river. At the location there is a bike path along the river. This paved path allows you to walk north and south with nice views of the river. At the time of the visit, six weeks after the tornado, there was ample evidence of the damage - though it was mostly vegetation which will recover quickly. I walked all the way to the railroad bridge, and the best views were from under Memorial Bridge and from a landscaped viewing area with kiosks. Building damage in Springfield was more extensive on Main Street, Central Street, then across the lake into a dense neighborhood. It was fortunate that the tornado passed to the south of the tall glass office buildings in downtown Springfield - but that is small comfort to those who were hit directly. It will be interesting to see how this area recovers, and the evidence gradually disappears.

Additional Source:

Digitriad.com (Rare Massachusetts Tornado Rated F-3):
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Type of publication: Television

When was the article reported?: 6/2/2011

Publication: CBS News

Article Url: [Web Link]

Is Registration Required?: no

How widespread was the article reported?: national

News Category: Weather

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