Tornado hits western Mass, damaging homes, downing power lines - Metro US

Tornado hits western Mass, damaging homes, downing power lines

The tornado damaged several homes and snapped dozens of trees.
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A tornado touched down in western Massachusetts Saturday evening, the first recorded instance of a tornado in the state in a February since statistics have been kept, according tothe National Weather Service.

The EF-1 tornado hit Franklin County after 7 p.m., packing winds up of to 110 mph. It tore a five-mile path through the town of Conway,ranging from 50 to 200 yards wide.

Several houses were severely damaged, with roofsblown off. In one case, the side walls of a home were ripped away, exposing the inside of the house. The tornado snapped dozens of trees and downed multiple power lines, according to the weather service.

No serious injuries were reported.

“Several people that we spoke to heard a tell-tale roaring sound and immediately sought shelter in their basements,” a meteorologist wrote. “It was very fortunate that nobody was killed in this event.”

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito planned to join Kurt Schwartz, director of the state Emergency Management Agency, and other officialson Monday to inspect the damage in Conway.

The town was still under a state of emergency, according to a town announcement from Monday morning. Six homes were determined to be unsafe due to damage. Officials set up a Conway Mass Tornado Relief fund to collect donations for the residents affected.

According to the National Weather Service, there had never been “a tornado during the month of February since official tornado statistics have been kept, dating back to 1950.”

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