SPRINGFIELD (CBS) – The National Weather Service has confirmed that it was indeed an EF3 Tornado that tracked through southern Hamden and Worcester Counties late Wednesday afternoon.

The third largest tornado to occur in Massachusetts since the Worcester Tornado in 1953 will also be noted for the length of its damage path – approximately 39 miles. That’s the second longest track in Massachusetts history

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“I have not seen as much damage on a continuous path as I am seeing today,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Alan Dunham.

By surveying the twisted destruction left behind by the tornado, meteorologists can estimate how strong the winds were in the tornado.

It was 135 mph to 160 mph winds, which caused severe damage to buildings, homes and cars. Anything in the tornado’s path stood little chance.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Joyce reports

At 4:17 pm Wednesday, the tornado briefly touched down in Westfield before wrapping into a much greater tornado as it marched towards West Springfield. Here winds tore off rooftops and collapsed entire buildings, leaving many lives in ruin.

Crossing the Connecticut River, the tornado then moved right into downtown Springfield during the evening rush hour. Moving over such a densely populated area, the damage mounted.

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WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports on the clean-up effort in Springfield

As the Tornado moved over more wooded areas like Wilbraham, it left behind complete deforestation.

The Deadly swirling winds pushed directly through the little town of Monson, creating the kind of damage we have seen in Joplin and Tuscaloosa. This time it was ours.

Reaching its maximum wind, carving path of a half-mile wide, it crossed the hills of the Brimfield State Forest.

You could hear trees snapping, you could hear cars getting thrown down the hill.

Scott Murray found cover under a stairwell in this pile of rubble which was once a three-story building and his place of work.

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The tornado then moved through Sturbridge, tossed planes at Southbridge airport before finally lifting in Charlton. Floating debris landed in yards across the state. This was a historic New England tornado. The impacts were far-reaching for those who have lost everything