(NECN: Steve Aveson, Springfield, Mass.) – It’s the first anniversary of the deadly tornadoes in western Massachusetts.
June 1 is the time of year that NECN’s weather team constantly reminds us it’s the beginning of the hurricane season.
No one had a clue, though, that last year’s tornado would be as severe as it was.
NECN’s Matt Noyes aggressively tackled the coming danger, delivering accurate warnings for several tornadoes, including one that was on the ground for 39 miles across the region.
By nightfall, the devastation was complete, three people were killed, hundreds more injured. Much of the destruction was focused in Springfield, West Springfield, Brimfield and Monson.
Material damages were in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
What’s quite extraordinary about the series of tornadoes is that there were three deaths, but the impact on the communities has been incredible.
Mark Landry, the federal coordinating officer for FEMA, was on the ground from the beginning.
“It was a really, really busy year, probably pushed FEMA to the limit…there were a lot of folks that a hand in all of this. You can’t do it alone. You’ve got to work as a team,” says Landry.
The rebuilding efforts are ongoing.
“It could take 3-5 years. This is the first time in over 20 years that we had major building damage in an urban area, or for that matter, any area…There are still unmet needs for people that we are working on.”