So, apparently, the apocalypse is nigh… I recently posted about recourses your (or my) government provides to help citizens plan for emergencies. Massachusetts had guides to prepare us for all of New England’s major weather situations. They covered floods, which have jacked up this region (and my commute) in the last year. There were guides for hurricanes, which we made a movie about because we totally get the NorEaster devil-storm situation. We know we need handbooks about winter weather, which seems to surprise people every year like it’s brand new; it’s as if we all have seasonal amnesia and every year a foot of snow is dumbfounding. And, strangely, they even had a guide about earthquakes. Every possible weather situation briefed and sorted.
Every situation except what we saw yesterday—tornedos in Massachusetts. Tornadoes. Whirling, angry, columns of hell-weather and Katamari-style debris whipping about Massachusetts like an asshole. So rude.
According to the Boston Globe four people died. That’s wicked-a lot for us.
Tornadoes tore through Western and Central Massachusetts yesterday, killing at least four people, injuring an untold number, and reducing schools, churches, and homes to splinters along its destructive path.
Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency throughout Massachusetts and ordered up to 1,000 troops from the National Guard to help with rescue efforts. He said at least 19 communities had reported damage and he asked officials in those towns and cities to close schools and keep nonemergency personnel home today to allow work crews to clear streets.
“We are in an emergency situation,’’ said the governor in a news conference at the state’s emergency management headquarters in Framingham. He said there had been reports of looting in Springfield, and he described the damage from the storm as extensive.
Destructive, deadly tornadoes are uncommon, but not unprecedented, in Massachusetts, and are typically the product of warm, moist air at the surface colliding with colder air aloft. The result can be explosive, as residents of Great Barrington can attest. In 1995, a Memorial Day twister killed three people hunkered down in their car.
One of the nation’s most lethal single tornadoes took aim at Worcester in 1953, killing 94.
Um, those people who hid in their car from a storm…
FEMA has some tornado safety tips we all (apparently) can and should look into keeping handy just in case crazy weather strikes again. Maybe next month we will have an earthquake….
My area was in the lightning storm zone:
And because I can’t resist an infographic: