The storms that struck 19 Massachusetts communities, including Springfield and Monson, were not as large as the one tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., in May, but the state is not accustomed to seeing this type of severe weather in highly populated areas.
“It was obviously an incredible surprise. ... We’d been monitoring the weather all day, and by early afternoon nobody was overly concerned. ... But by late afternoon some storm clouds started to appear,” Peter Judge of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said. “Getting severe thunderstorms is not very unusual for a late afternoon at this time of the year, but damaging tornadoes in heavily populated areas are rare.”
Massachusetts averages two to three tornadoes per year, according to the Post’s Capital Weather Gang. The last deadly tornado was in 1995.
Video from YouTube users skylerjustive, who gives credit to Brandon Stewart, and ravedave413 shows the tornado in Springfield from a particularly vulnerable location — the open road. User Joseffemoreira did the same, as he and his passengers watched the storm approach. Watch the video, which contains NSFW language, here.
(Source: Associated Press)