tornado anniversary

WAMC

A long vacant tornado-damaged building in Springfield, Massachusetts was demolished today, as city officials vowed to continue a neighborhood-by-neighborhood crackdown on blight.

A former auto parts store on Main Street in Springfield was torn down Monday. The building had been vacant for more than a decade. It was damaged by the 2011 tornado. A car crashed through it.  The single story building had been seized by the city for non-payment of taxes and Springfield officials could not find anyone to buy it for redevelopment.

WAMC

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in western Massachusetts says there is a tentative plan concerning the fate of historic Cathedral High School in Springfield.  Although details have not been disclosed, advocates for rebuilding the tornado-ravaged school say they are encouraged.

      Bishop Mitchell Rozanski said the draft plan addresses how to continue Catholic secondary education in Springfield and how best to continue the legacy and mission of Cathedral — the city’s only Catholic high school.

WAMC

An announcement about the long-term fate of the historic Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts is now expected by mid-February.  Advocates of rebuilding the school that was wrecked in the 2011 tornado are encouraged by word the school will operate for one more year, at least, at its temporary campus. 

       Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski will begin a series of meetings on January 24th in what will amount to the final due diligence on whether to rebuild the Catholic high school with a 130-year- history in Springfield. 

WAMC

A decision on the fate of the only Catholic high school in Springfield, Massachusetts won’t be announced until after the first of the year.  Advocates for rebuilding the historic Cathedral High School, destroyed by a tornado more than three years ago, continue a public campaign.

WAMC

The fate of historic Cathedral High School, the only Catholic high school in Springfield, Massachusetts, hangs in the balance.  A group of activists is campaigning to get a new school built on the spot where a tornado wrecked the Cathedral building more than three years ago.

The campaign to rebuild Cathedral High School, which includes lawn signs, bumper stickers, lobbying, endorsements from prominent politicians, letter writing, social media, radio and TV interviews is aimed at securing the vote of just one person—Bishop Mitchell Rozanski.

WAMC

People in Springfield, Massachusetts reflected Sunday on the third anniversary of the tornado that left a major scar on the city.   While officials say they are proud of the recovery process, they acknowledge more work is ahead. 

New homes are under construction in the low-income Maple High-Six Corners neighborhood in keeping with a master plan painstakingly put together in the months after the June 1, 2011 tornado. A new elementary school is under construction to replace one destroyed by the storm. Thousands of new trees have been planted.

WAMC

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.

WAMC

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to pay Springfield, Massachusetts $25 million for the destruction of public property by the 2011 tornado.  It is a final settlement that city officials worked relentlessly to obtain.

WAMC

Several of the western Massachusetts communities that were in the path of almost unimaginable destruction one year ago today will hold remembrance events.  It will be an opportunity to reflect on the one year anniversary of the worst tornado to hit the state in a half-century and also to look toward what many hope will be a brighter future.    WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.