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Are There Tornadoes In Massachusetts? Tornadoes in the United States Northeast New England Area and Region
Map of Tornadoes in the United States for the Year 2011
2011 A Record Year For Devistating Tornadoes in the U.S.
When I think of tornadoes, I think of the movie “The Wizard of Oz” when Judy Garland speaks that famous line, "We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto!" In fact, I never realized that there were so many tornadoes throughout the country of the United States. Some of the states affected recently this year are Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, and Minnesota.
According to Wikipedia, there have been 1383 tornado reports within the United States in 2011, of which 995 are confirmed, and we are just entering the sixth month of 2011, so that number is sure to rise. The number of deaths in the United States alone is approximately 520 this year. This has been a record year so far for tornadoes in the United States. This has been the most deadly year since 1936, which had a total of 322 deaths attributed to tornado activity.
It seems like every day as we watch the news on television we see images of people in despair. These tornadoes are very similar to fires because once they are started anything in their path gets completely destroyed. It is very sad to see and the worst part about the whole situation with tornadoes is that you don't know when they are coming as they appear instantly, and disappear just as quickly.
Crazy Thunder Storm!
Books on Tornadoes
History of Tornadoes In New England
While I was doing my research for this article I came across some very interesting information. I never knew that there was a history of tornadoes in New England, let alone right near where I live! So I decided to do some further research. One of the most interesting things that I learned was that one of the earliest reports of a tornado in American History occurred approximately 8 to 12 miles from where I live. That tornado occurred in Rehoboth, Massachusetts in August of 1671. Luckily, nobody died in that incident. Just outside of Boston on July eighth, 1680 Cambridge, Massachusetts suffered a tornado where one person died.
Massachusetts Tornado News Coverage
Another tornado whose path extended through Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire on August 15, 1787, claimed 15 injuries and killed two people. While doing my research I realized that the most destructive tornado in New England’s History was the tornado in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1953. It occurred on June 9 around 5:08 PM and was listed as an F-4/F-5 class tornado. Now these tornadoes in no way are anything like the tornadoes we read about right now, but I was stunned to find out that they were actually tornadoes that occurred in New England.
The Worcester tornado traveled 46 miles within 84 minutes through Massachusetts. 94 people died, 60 of them in Worcester alone. Approximately 1300 people were injured, around 10,000 homes were completely destroyed, and a lot of property, including buildings and cars were damaged or destroyed beyond repair. The monetary damage was estimated at $52 million, which would be equivalent to approximately just under $500 million in 2010 U.S. dollars. That was astonishing!
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What surprised me the most while doing this research, was that during my lifetime, there were actually several tornadoes that appeared within my area. In the late evening on Memorial Day in 1995 a thunderstorm produced a tornado in Berkshire County in the town of Great Barrington. Three people were trapped in a car and were lifted several hundred feet up into the air and then dropped into the countryside. They all perished. Over 20 people were injured from flying glass alone. Just fewer than 80 homes were damaged and destroyed and the damage from this tornado was over $52 million, which would be approximately $550 million in 2010. Again, this is astonishing to me.
But a storm in New England that hits home the most was actually the most recent one. I have to clarify, however, that it was actually a Water Spout and not a full tornado. On the day after my half birthday, July 23, 2008 a Water Spout touched down in the town that I work in; Swansea, Massachusetts and continued into the neighboring town of Warren, Rhode Island via the Cole's River. Although there were some gusts as high as 90 mph, the average speed of this storm was 65 mph and the path of the water spout was 4.2 miles in length, and luckily was only 50 yards wide. Ironically, no injuries or deaths were ever reported. I can’t believe that I don’t recall hearing about this.
Suffice to say, no one is safe from a tornado in the United States. They do tend to have areas where they are most active, but they are very unpredictable, appear out of nowhere, and cause mass destruction. I hope that the future shows a down-trend in this weather activity.