Tornado Survivor: 'I Just Refer to This as the Lost Year' | NECN

Tornado Survivor: 'I Just Refer to This as the Lost Year'



    Jay McLaughlin has spent the past year trying to rebuild since the June 1, 2011 tornadoes that destroyed his family's home (Published Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014)

    (NECN:  Justin Michaels) – On this 1-year anniversary of the June 1, 2011 tornadoes, Governor Deval Patrick heads back to the areas left scarred by tornadoes.

    He'll tour a recovery site in Monson, Mass. before heading to West Springfield to dedicate a garden in memory of those killed one year ago.

    It's the personal stories that come after tragedy that truly bring it home for people.

    And, after the tornadoes a year ago, there are plenty of stories.

    Here's one of the many.

    “By about 430 they zeroed in on this neighborhood and we took notice."

    It was June 1, 2011. There were tornadoes in western Massachusetts.

    The National Weather Service reports three tornadoes officially touched down, though they say there could've been a fourth.

    "It came right between those two houses...that's what we saw."

    Jay McLaughlin and his family took cover at the last second.

    "I think you've heard the description of a freight train. That's what it sounded like for about thirty seconds."

    Jay has spent the past year trying to rebuild, a process and a time period for which he's given a name:
    “I just refer to this as the lost year. We've been living in a rental house across town and right now we've been living, I joke, like college students... out of totes, borrowed furniture, plastic shelves. Things like that."

    Jay is also in the process of building a new home, one that's been less than easy.
    "We've crammed that whole two-year process in to about six months... It took way too long to get a building permit."

    When it was all said and done, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency confirmed three deaths as a result of this band is severe weather.

    By 10 that night, the line of deadly storms was moving off the Atlantic coast of Massachusetts and the threat of storms was finally over... five terrifying hours after it started.