The tornadoes that swept through Massachusetts caused damage in downtown Springfield. (Jessica Hill, Associated Press / June 2, 2011)
— At least two tornadoes swept through western and central Massachusetts on Wednesday, slamming debris into buildings, toppling trees and killing four people, the governor said.
The storms did extensive damage in Springfield, the state’s third-largest city with 150,000 people. About 40 people were injured, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said.
Gov. Deval Patrick said two people died in Westfield, one in West Springfield and one in Brimfield. Tornadoes were reported in several other communities, including Monson and Sturbridge.
Patrick declared a state of emergency and mobilized 1,000 National Guard troops.
“It is early going yet, so those are not final numbers, although we are hoping and praying and working as hard as possible to keep the fatalities limited to those four,” he said. An estimated 55,000 homes were without power.