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Springfield To Mark Tornado Anniversary

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Cars are covered in debris near Main Street June 2, 2011 in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

Cars are covered in debris near Main Street June 2, 2011 in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Springfield is reflecting on the third anniversary of a tornado that left a major scar on the city.

Mayor Domenic Sarno has asked residents to pause for a moment of remembrance, and for churches to chime their bells at 4:38 p.m. on Sunday. That was the exact time the EF-3 tornado touched down on June 1, 2011. It went on to cut a 6.2 mile swath of damage in Springfield, including a portion of the downtown area that is now the proposed site of an $800 million resort casino.

Sarno says the recovery process has been “long and arduous,” but that the city has made great progress.

The tornado was one of several that struck western Massachusetts that day. Three people died and about 1,400 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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