Conway residents still dealing with aftermath of February tornado

EF-1 twister touched down nearly two weeks ago

CONWAY, Mass. (WWLP) – Saturday, February 25th, a tornado touched down in the Franklin County town of Conway, damaging businesses, homes, and even a church.

Wind gusts reached up to 110 miles per hour.

“The lights went out, I started walking down stairs with a flashlight and I could here windows breaking and debris hitting the house,” said Grant Ingle of Conway. “It was all over in about a minute and a half.”

Ingle said it’ll cost between 4 to 6 thousand dollars to remove fallen trees on his property, and the state, doesn’t help private residents pay for it.

Since 1950, there have been 170 tornadoes that have touched down in Massachusetts and 15 since the start of 2010. Conway has made strides in the cleanup process, but residents and town officials say there’s still much to be done.

“It was certainly severe damage where the tornado struck and not only the more obvious parts where there are houses, but all through the woods,” said Thomas Hutcheson, Town Administrator of Conway.

This was the first February tornado in Massachusetts. MEMA and the Department of Conservation and Recreation are helping with the clean up.

Hutcheson said Conway has received many donations, including $10,000 dollars from the Lions Club.

The town is hosting a series of fundraisers through March.

February tornado unusual, but Massachusetts had 57 twisters since 1980

22News reporter Mike Masciadrelli is in Conway, where he will have a look at where the tornado recovery process stands, tonight on 22News at 5:30.