EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Last week’s microburst caused a lot of damage in western Massachusetts, and clean-up crews are still busy. Parts of Mount Tom are still closed to cars and hikers because of fallen trees blocking the roads and trails.
“It was pretty torn up when we first got here Wednesday morning, you know,” says Joe Novelli, a member of the Log Cabin grounds crew in Easthampton. “The last couple of days we’ve been cleaning up good, taking our time with it.”
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation says they do not have a concrete timeline of when the cleanup will be completed. 22News drove down Mountain Road along Mt. Tom to look at the damage that was left behind, and saw snapped branches, uprooted trees, and debris that still remained along the mountainside.
At Christopher Clark Road, off Easthampton Road, more than a mile of the road is closed because of the fallen trees and brush on the ground, stopping any hikers and cars from getting inside.
The damage in the Mt Tom Reservation is still extensive. The DCR told 22News that their staff has surveyed Mt. Tom, and their priority is to address any threats to people, clearing uprooted trees that can fall.
One hiker, a resident of Northampton for about 20 years, saw the damage on Tuesday for the first time. “Disbelief and a little bit of sadness,” is how Suzanne Vandyke of Northampton says she feels looking at the damage. “I like the tree canopy that used to be here and it was just one of those places where I could come and have my solace.”
Her friend Bobbye is happy no one got hurt. “We were really lucky in that respect that it was really just the woods and woods regenerate,” said Bobbye Samdahl of Princeton, Massachusetts.
The DCR says hikers have no access to trails in the south western part of the park until everything has been cleared. Christopher Clark road should be open within the next week.
The Bureau of Forestry is looking to sell some of the timber that has been cleared from the park.