The city is offering financial support to owners of historic buildings damaged in the 2011 tornado that tore through western Massachusetts.

For the past two days, our region has received a flurry of severe thunderstorm and even tornado warnings and watches. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are 1,300 tornados in the United States on average each year. Summer is here, and with it the likelihood you'll hear WAMC broadcast a tornado watch or warning. Experts are urging people to take the warnings seriously.


Repairs are being made to the steeple of the Old First Church in Springfield, Massachusetts. It is part of an ongoing effort to restore one of the oldest church buildings in New England.

A crane was moved into position Wednesday and a fence erected to keep pedestrians away while the final work is done on the exterior of the steeple to repair damage caused by the 2011 tornado. Mayor Domenic Sarno said Old First Church is a significant part of Springfield’s history and the restoration will ensure it figures in the city’s future.

  The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado destroyed homes and property in central New York, and killed four people.

Violent winds Tuesday clocked in at least 100 miles per hour in the Madison county town of Smithfield, between Syracuse and Utica, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Barbara Watson. 

"It's going to be at least an EF2," Watson said.

There are reports of fatalities in the wake of a line of storms, including a confirmed EF2 tornado, that moved through western and central New York Tuesday night, bringing heavy rain and strong winds that knocked down trees, power lines and several buildings. 


A city park seriously damaged by the June 1, 2011 tornado that hit Springfield reopened today after a nearly $1 million improvement project.

City and state officials joined with residents of the Sixteen Acres neighborhood to praise the Camp Wilder Park renovations. Mayor Domenic Sarno said the park is an “urban oasis” in an area that had been ripped to shreds three years ago by the tornado.

" I almost had a tear in my eye coming in here today. To think of all the debris that was here and now look at this magnificent park. But, we always had a can-do attitude."


Sunday marks the third anniversary of the most powerful storm to strike Massachusetts in a half-century, an EF-3 rated tornado that killed three people, injured dozens more, and damaged or destroyed 2,000 buildings between Springfield and Sturbridge.  Rebuilding in the city of Springfield has been aided by about $100 million in federal and state funds.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Daily Gazette photographer Pat Dodson was heading back to the Capital Region following President Obama’s visit to central New York yesterday when news broke that a tornado touched down in Schenectady County. Dodson spoke with WAMC about what the newspaper termed on its front page today “the path of destruction.”

Severe Weather: The Before And After

May 23, 2014
Lucas Willard / WAMC

WAMC's David Guistina discusses the possible tornado in Schenectady County with Meteorologist Paul Caiano.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The National Weather Service says spotters have reported apparent tornado damage with trees and power lines down down and a home destroyed as severe thunderstorms packing high winds and large hail moved eastward through rural Schenectady and Albany counties.