Ludlow recovering after storms

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July 26, 2011, 10:49 pm
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(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Ludlow, Mass.) - The storm long over, the road still closed, power still out to people along Winsor Street in Ludlow, MA -- after strong winds and hail came through.

"I said what the heck is that and I ran down and I looked up and I saw my tree down and I started crying," said Mary Almeida.

Her father never gave up on this old maple tree.

That was more than 50 years ago, when he had cement put inside to give it new life.

This 91 year old woman knows it will have to come down now, but at least she and her Ludlow home are safe.

"My brother already called me, my family already called me and said are you alright, do you want to come over, I said no I'm fine," Mary Almeida added.

That's the story of this storm in much of western Massachusetts, branches snapped, power lines down, even trees onto roofs, but no significant damage -- at least nothing like June 1 -- the devastating tornadoes fresh in people's minds when warnings came out again.

"I know for a fact based on some of the family phone calls we were getting at the firehouse before it hit that people are a little more on edge," said Ludlow Fire Captain Joe Crowley.

"It got really scary though especially when you saw the formation of the clouds and everything like that you get to wonder, is it going to happen, especially since the June 1 tornadoes in Springfield and in Monson," said Rosa Venancio, of Ludlow.

"That was my thing, it was bad, I tell you, scared the living bajeesus out of me," said Julia Dias, who said she had the June tornadoes on her mind, as well.

We were in the middle of the storm in Ludlow, quarter sized hail lining our windshield as we drove along the Pike westbound.

Slow going for drivers as the skies opened up above us.

Trees were down over the road in Chicopee, as well.

And flash flooding was a problem -- this black car was stuck.

Even after much of the water receded, drivers still had to navigate slowly on Route 21.

They couldn't get by this fire, live lines burning -- firefighters waiting for power crews to cut the electricity.

Back on Bristol Street, Mary Almeida knows it's time for her favorite tree to go.

"I hate to see it go but I'll put another one there, I love trees," she said.

There are still close to 24,000 western MA customers without power tonight.

Tags: massachusetts, storm, ludlow, Josh Brogadir, Western
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