SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The June 1st, 2011 Tornado was one of the most devastating tornadoes to ever hit western Massachusetts. The EF3 tornado with winds estimated at 160 mph created a 39 mile long path of destruction from Westfield to Charlton, killing 4 people and injuring 200.
“Honestly no that was the only thing I ever really experienced living in Holyoke Mass western Mass that we would never have to worry about that. It was just scary, that’s the only day that sticks out the only tornado around here,” said Brittany Robert of Holyoke.
Even though the June 1st Tornado was one of the most devastating there have been other tornadoes that have touched down in western Massachusetts this time of year.
On May 29th, 1995 the Great Barrington Tornado touched down on Memorial Day.
“My son and I were hiking a section of the Appalachian trail when the tornado that came over the Great Barrington area tore up a section of the woods we were actually in and destroyed a large section of the trail,” said Dan Lauber of Belchertown.
The F4 tornado with winds estimated at around 260 mph destroyed the Great Barrington Fairgrounds. It also killed 3 people, two students and a faculty member from the Eagleton School.
On July 11th, 2006 an F2 tornado touched down in the Franklin County town of Wendell. The tornado left a 4 mile path of destruction and damaged close to a dozen homes. No one was killed or injured by that tornado.
On average 3 to 5 tornadoes occur in southern New England each summer.