EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The severe storms are gone, but the effects are continuing for drivers going into and out of Easthampton. Mountain Road (Route 141) remains closed while tree crews clean up the damage to the roadway, which cuts across Mt. Tom between Easthampton and Holyoke.
22News contacted Easthampton police Thursday morning, and Captain Robert Alberti said they anticipate that the road will remain closed to all traffic until at least midday Friday.
A confirmed microburst hit the side of the mountain; knocking down hundreds of trees along a clear path of destruction. Three homes and two cars were damaged in that storm. Despite the damage, the only injuries were to one couple, which suffered minor scrapes and bruises. Residents in the area were very shaken up by the early morning storms, however.
“It sounded like a train came through our house,” James Petrowicz of Easthampton said. “My wife’s uncle’s house has a tree on it.”
Others, who were able to get out their neighborhood for the first time Thursday morning since the storm hit told 22News what it was like to see the damage to the side of Mount Tom. “It was nuts yesterday. I didn’t realize the severity of it until I got to work and someone told me to look it up online and I saw all the pictures and I couldn’t believe it was so close to my house,” Nick Martin said. “Coming down it today was the first time to be able to look up and see the mountain cleared out it’s so crazy.”
If you are trying to travel from Easthampton into Holyoke, you may detour down East Street until you reach Route 5, which you can take southbound into Holyoke.
If you are looking to get from Holyoke to Easthampton, you can take Route 5 up to East Street, and follow that to Route 141.
If you need to use that detour be sure to give yourself plenty of extra time, as some residents in the area told 22News Wednesday was full of traffic backups. “My daughter lives on East Street and people there can’t get out of their driveways basically because the traffic is backed up,” Pat Hibbard said.
Hendrick Street in Easthampton, which intersects with Route 141, had been closed following the storm, but has since re-opened to traffic.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation released the following statement regarding the Route 141 closure:
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation advises residents and visitors to use caution along the Route 141 area of Easthampton, adjacent to Mount Tom State Reservation due to a microburst/tornado that left hundreds of trees uprooted on Wednesday, October 8th. State and local power crews have been working through the daylight hours to remove the debris and restore power along Route 141 in the affected area.
Currently, Christopher Clark Road, the southwest section of Mount Tom State Reservation, is closed from Route 141 to the Visitor’s Center and the intersection with Reservation Road. While Christopher Clark Road is closed and the Route 141 entrance to the reservation is gated, DCR advises visitors to not enter this area. Vehicular access to the reservation is possible from the Route 5 entrance, although DCR advises all park visitors to be cautious and not impede any cleanup efforts.
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Jack Murray, the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources.
To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.