1 Dead After Strong Storms Sweep Through W. Mass.

A falling utility pole on Tuesday killed a western Massachusetts motorcyclist, State Police said, as severe weather moved through the state, knocking out power and causing damage.

The fatality occurred in the town of Hinsdale. No further information was immediately available.

For nearly an hour late Tuesday afternoon, tornado warnings were in effect for Hampden and Worcester counties and adjacent areas of northern Connecticut. The warnings were lifted at about 5:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service said funnel clouds were seen, but no touchdowns were confirmed.

The strong storms brought hail and downed trees and power lines, as authorities reported damage in Springfield, Pittsfield, Chicopee and Wilbraham. There were more than 21,000 outages reported in western Massachusetts as of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for most of eastern Massachusetts until 10 p.m. Tuesday, as well as southern New Hampshire, northern Connecticut and central Rhode Island. The only part of Massachusetts not included in that watch area is the southeast and Cape Cod and the Islands.

The strong storms struck some areas in western Massachusetts that were hit by the June 1 tornadoes. Those tornadoes killed three people and caused millions of dollars in damage.

WFCR-FM reporter Anne Mostue says the heavy rain and dark clouds in Springfield were reminiscent of the deadly June 1 weather.

"People got pretty nervous, and my studio is in a large office building, and we've all gone into the basement now," she said. "We haven't seen anything touch down. We don't see anything in the air right now."

WCVB-TV's Harvey Leonard says Tuesday's storms should give way to some nice weather.

"Later [Tuesday night] it should clear, and actually [Wednesday] looks like a beautiful day — one of the nicer summer days we've had — 'cause it looks pretty bright and the humidity will be down and the temperatures will be comfortable," Leonard said.

With additional reporting from The Associated Press

This program aired on July 26, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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