SPRINGFIELD (CBS/AP) — Several tornadoes touched down in Massachusetts Wednesday afternoon, killing at least four people and damaging property across more than a dozen communities.

Tornadoes were confirmed in Westfield, Springfield, West Springfield, Wilbraham, Sturbridge, Monson, Oxford, Charlton, Agawam, Brimfield, and Douglas. Damage from the storms was reported in 19 communities.

By Wednesday evening, at least four people were confirmed dead, along with dozens of injuries.  Governor Patrick has declared a State of Emergency.

Speaking at MEMA headquarters after 9 p.m., Gov. Patrick said the National Guard would be fully deployed by Thursday morning, with 1,000 guardsmen on duty. He reported extensive damage in Hampden County, including more than 48,000 customers without power.

Web Extra: Video From Westfield

Gov. Patrick urged people to dial 2-1-1 to receive non-emergency information. He also encouraged residents to check on their neighbors if it is safe to do so, and said he won’t know specifics about shelters until officials can determine how many people have been displaced by the severe weather.

The governor asked schools in the 19 affected communities to close for the day Thursday.

Gov. Patrick added that there were preliminary reports from State Police Col. Marian McGovern of looting in downtown Springfield after the first of two tornadoes ripped through the city.

The Roman Catholic diocese of Springfield said a retired priest was among those injured.

Mark Dupont, a spokesman for the diocese, said the storm damaged St. Michael’s Retired Priest Residence. He said one priest was injured and the remaining priests living at the facility were moved to a nearby rectory. The extent of the man’s injuries was not immediately known.

Web Extra: Video From West Springfield

Dupont also says some windows at a Catholic high school in Springfield were blown out during the storm but all of the students were safe.

“You could see things were coming,” said Deborah McCarthy, who witnessed the tornado in Springfield from inside an office building. “Trees were starting to snap around us and the windows smashed on the upper floors. You can see cars flipped over, too.”

PICTURES: Pictures From Viewers & Listeners

“This is a major, major, major situation; a very dangerous situation,” said WBZ-TV meteorologist Todd Gutner during the height of the storms.

According to WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez, there were some people on Union Street in Springfield trapped in homes. Emergency crews were working into the night to get everybody to safety. As Perez was live on television Wednesday evening, a man covered in dust and blood emerged from the ruins of a home, where a child remained trapped.

Jonathan Elias reports from West Springfield

The sky over I-90 in Strubridge at 5:30 p.m. on June 1. (credit: Diana Perez/WBZ)

Ray Webber, a Skywarn weather spotter in Springfield, said he saw a wall cloud and the formation of a tornado. He said there were lots of trees down and at least one tractor trailer on its side.

WATCH: Video from Springfield courtesy Chris Reeves

Pictures of Springfield show severe damage. There are many buildings missing roofs, others with their fronts torn off, and some completely flattened. There is also an obvious path of trees torn down.

The state police activated its Special Emergency Response Team and members of the K-9 Unit to assist in searching damaged structures for survivors.

Dana Markawitz of the Springfield Falcons talks with WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Anthony Silva about the damage he’s seeing

Highway ramps into Springfield were closed, and many roads in Springfield were impassable because of downed trees and power lines.

Tornado Moves Through Springfield

In Westfield, video showed a school with its roof torn off and classrooms littered with debris.

There were reports of debris falling from the sky miles away, in towns like Milford and Medway.

CHECK: Weather Updates

Tractor Trailer Tipped In Springfield

One of the many storms that passed through Amherst Wednesday. (credit: Kristen Patchy)

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (68)
  1. lisa says:

    We got hit in southbridge.. damaged houses tress down

  2. Ann says:

    There is one inch hail in leicester

  3. John says:

    Second touch down at 6;20pm in Springfield

    1. joe says:

      drama news ——————enough —————– !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Whatever says:

    I was not affected by it all.

  5. amanda says:

    saw debris coming down in walpole from the remnants of the first big cell passing through here; cannot imagine what people out in springfield et al are experiencing…

  6. jane doe says:

    any reports of damage in Longmeadow?

  7. jon gentili says:

    Debris was falling in upton, I have insulation in my front yard.

  8. Alan says:

    Kudos to Todd Gutner, excellent job!!!!

  9. Joe Marshall says:

    I am truly sorry for all the folks that have sustainted damage and injury back there. I was truly surprised to hear about a toronados in MASS. We are truly blessed to live in Arizona where we only have to deal with the heat in the summer, but only if we live in the Valley. One hour and a half north and you don’t even have that problem.

  10. AJ says:

    LOL, more media sensationalism. They’re called “big dust devils.” Tornadoes in MA!

    1. Lynn says:

      Four people have died and you’re calling them dust devils? Stay classy.

    2. Grecia says:

      “Given that global wrnaimg is unequivocal,” climate scientist Kevin Trenberth cautioned the American Meteorological Society in January of this year, “the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global wrnaimg rather than the inane statements along the lines of ‘of course we cannot attribute any particular weather event to global wrnaimg.’”Just to add a little bit more to the debate. The last two winters in the UK have been dire, especially the last one. As I understand it, this was due to a weak jetstream allowing cold air from the Arctic to move south. It is also my understanding that heat=energy which means that the jetstream should be stronger due to global wrnaimg therefore we should not have had these cold winters. The warmists did say in the 1990 s that snow would be very rare in the UK at the beginning of this century.The mushroom policy is alive and well (kept in the dark and fed on s**t).

  11. Jaimo says:

    God Bless all you guys over the border from us in CT. We’re going to be getting a nasty T-storm pretty soon in the Hartford area with some rotation. Hopefully it doesn’t become what you guys went through.

    Vernon just sent rescue workers up to Springy.

  12. THE SOUTH says:

    Welcome to our world

  13. jason ledbetter says:

    Father Nature is now fully at War protecting Mother Earth!

    1. Robsom says:

      Ghost Posted on How about Kitty Pryde ? and even tuohgh she is a DC character maybe Pantha ?By the way Shazam is a reintroduction by DC of a Hero called Captain Marvel (from the ’30s ’40s). You could be really tacky and use Marvels Black Cat Some Mythological ones I found on the web ?Branwen Welsh goddess of love?Calliope Greek muse?Epona Celtic goddess of horses?Frutesca Roman goddess of abundant fruit?Griselda The name of a patient wife used in stories by Chaucer?Laka Hawaiian goddessNorse god?Murigen Irish goddess of lakes?Pandora Greek mythological woman?Rhiannon Celtic goddess?Sashet Egyptian goddess of writing?Verbeia Celtic goddess

  14. mattd of brockton says:

    dear tornadoes please just once can i experience you… k thanks

  15. Fanny Forbes Franklen says:

    Maybe a new tax to help the tornadoes deal with their anger and move them to the ocean is money well spent. Also a community committee should be crated, also at taxpayer’s expense, to find solutions and council those that were upset by the weather.

    —— http://911essentials.com

  16. Judy says:

    I second the excellent job to Todd Gutner!!

    1. Italo says:

      Kudos to ‘BZ’s work today, too. I just keep going back to channel-surfing last night and hearing Pete on ‘HDH expressing that he just didn’t see a severe weather setup really coming together for today, and saying that we’d be probably up to 98% not having anything to worry about. I wonder if he was thinking that tonight while tracking the twisters! Of course none of the mets could foresee today’s tornadic activity; but I think all the mets would’ve agreed that the potential was there for severity today with all the heat, humidity, sun coming out, and strong jet stream winds. Today’s technology and mets, overall, helped a lot of people today.

  17. Kerri says:

    It’s here now!

  18. JO JO BINKS says:


  19. Bilbo says:

    You should fire that weather clown Gutner…he kept reporting every single disturbance as a tornado like it was a confirmed tornado on the ground…irresponsible and stupid…all the other channels were much more professional. He had my house panicked every time he mentioned every cell as as a tornado when I was channel surfing…I had to keep telling my kids the idiot was clueless.

    1. Alan says:

      Bilbo, you misspelled your name. It’s spelled BIMBO!

      1. Bilbo says:

        yeah well acording to Gutner we had wall to wall tornados across the entire state for 6 hours…nothing was a cell, or potential tornado..everything was refered to as a tornado moving along the ground…CBS should go back and review his coverage….rookie. You need veteran accuracy in a situation like this….like when the weather service puts out tornado WARNINGS…the data these guys actually use…not panic and speculation. Don’t report what you don’t know. As far as bimbos go, pretty much all the channels had their bimbos interrupting the weather coverage with useless comments. Couple of them if I had been the weatherman I would’ve told them to shut up while I was trying to relay information or just ripped out their microphones. This episode demonstrated just how airheaded ALL the Boston station have become.

    2. alan says:

      I am very please that your family, and many others, escaped unharmed. If you know anything about FCC licensing agreements you know that ALL television stations have a fiduciary responsibility to warn the public of eminent danger. Last night all of Massachusetts was in eminent danger! The fact that you did not experience a tornado does not mean there was no danger or threat of one. When the data is examined it will prove Todd Gutner was spot on with very good explanation!!!

  20. Kat says:

    JO JO you are absolutely correct about HAARP! I live in Oklahoma and am used to tornadoes but what we are experiencing now is way more than that! It’s called WEATHER WARFARE/MANIPULATION! People wake up and check it out! Been going on for a long time but they’ve really ramped it up! There is a guy on youtube that goes by the screename DUTCHSINSE. He reports the weather and what is going on with HAARP, CHEMTRAILS, etc. He’ll give a weather report 24 to 48 hours out and name the towns that will more than likely be hit! This is the US GOVERNMENT & NWO at it’s finest!!!

    1. HAARP employee says:

      Settle down now – there was an earthquake (Japan) that shifted the earth’s axis probably enough to affect the jet stream that brings the cold and warm air together. There are few places that never get tornados – and that is due to location i.e. cold northern jetstream doesn’t collide with warm moist air.

      1. alan says:

        What is HAARP?

      2. jude says:

        see steve beckow 2012 scenario HAARP…confirmed weather manipulation NOT in the peoples’ best interest..please open your mind and heart

    2. All American Mom says:

      Jo Jo and Kat – exactly. The magnetometer has been crazy at the 2.5 level. I also keep tabs with Dutchsinse. We were in El Paso/Las Cruces area last Sunday and I commented to my DH that I had never seen clouds like what we were seeing – evenly spaced, horizonally and vertically. I can only describe them as “checkmarks” – each made up of a short line of “cloud”, with one end of the “cloud” feathering out to make the checkmark. Hundreds upon hundreds of them, as I say, evenly spaced over the expanse of the sky (which had been perfectly blue earlier in the day). Later that day we found out about the tornadoes in MO. At the time I thought it was just plain weird – now I think, how diabolical!

    3. Cogito ergo sum says:

      I’m with you on HAARP and the chemtrails. I think more and more people are becoming aware of it. Also, just because someone’s a HAARP employee, doesn’t mean that they are privy to everything that their agency does. Haven’t they heard of compartimentalizing information? You only know what you need to know? It’s what many government agencies do so information is not leaked to the public. That is why the scientists that worked on the atom bomb didn’t know what their work was being used for. If you work for HAARP, it’s no different. Most agencies that want to protect information operate on a “need to know basis.”

    4. jude says:

      see steve beckow 2012 scenario haarp – confirmed weather manipulation – NOT for the peoples’ best interest

  21. John Bee says:

    Looking at the video (Tornado Moves Through Springfield) that individual was on top of the roof next to antennas! WOW, what a candidate for a lightning strike. Lucky is all I can say!

  22. Kay says:

    I live not far from where they hit and those weren’t dust devils. I’ve seen the footage of the tornado and the damage it caused, and as someone who lived in the desert (in California) and saw dust devils all the time, I can say that those were most definitely not dust devils. Dust devils don’t pick anything up but dust. That is why they’re called “dust devils”, not “ripping-trees-out-of-the-ground-flinging-cars-across-the-street devils”. That behavior is tornadic (yes it really is a word, the weather guy said it lol). The rooves were ripped off of buildings on Main St. in Springfield. One person said that they saw a car picked up and thrown a block down the road. A big rig was knocked onto its side. Trees were ripped out of the ground. 4 people are dead. I’m just grateful that my family, home, and pets are all safe and sound. I saw the storm, it passed right over us. There was hail and a ton of lightning and thunder. It was really menacing. Granted, this tornado was nothing like what happened down south, nor is anyone claiming that. Nonetheless, it’s still devastating for the families who lost their loved ones and their homes. So, try to have some empathy for them, at least, by not minimizing their plight by calling it a dust devil.

  23. Robert says:

    While reporting on people in our state being killed during a number of tornadoes, is it really necessary to link a report of cars being flipped over to an ad for Dodge? Are there any more dollars to be wrung from this story? Very poor taste WBZ.

  24. lauri says:

    HAARP, depopulation, prelude to NWO takeover of America. Anybody know what force majeur means? A so called act of God would be a reason to declare force majeur so that US doesn’t have to pay back their debts. Some disaster is undoubtedly in the works. Thank the Rockefellers, the Bushes, Kissinger, the banks, et al for your pain. Goodbye, useless eaters!

    1. jude says:

      Hold the Light…it will prevail…agreed with all you say, yet to go into fear or anger feeds them! Blessings and Love

  25. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi says:

    more weather weapon testing ?

  26. Danielle says:

    My name is Danielle.I reported a tornado,I believe last year?by Beacon St.Chan.4 members said they saw the rotation on radar and it matched where I reported it.Taunton Weather said it was a mecro burst and tornados dont happen in Ma.I know it wasnt a mecro burst.I reported it on June 6th between 3-4pm.I find it errie that that yesterdays horrific weather occured days apart from what I witnessed.Do you think if I was taking more seriously,it would show that tornados can happen in ma. and be devastating?And do you think this is a pattern that will occur this time every year?And most important,my thoughts and prayers are with all that have been affected by yesterdays tornados.

  27. Bootsy says:

    America the Beautiful has some of the world’s worst weather: tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and droughts. Thanks a lot god!

  28. OggleBoo says:

    Got nothing in Plymouth. Hope things are better…

  29. Darlene says:

    Where in Oxford did the tornado touch down?

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