Support the news

Western Mass. Towns Get Hit With A February Tornado

This article is more than 3 years old.

The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in western Massachusetts this past weekend.

It is the first tornado ever recorded in the month of February in Massachusetts. Records for tornadoes date back to 1950.

Meteorologists say the EF-1 tornado touched down Saturday evening near Conway in Franklin County. The maximum estimated speed was 110 mph.

The weather service says most of the damage took place in Conway, with a brief touchdown in Goshen in Hampshire County.

Six properties were significantly damaged, including a church.

No injuries were reported.

Stephanie Dunton, with the weather service, told WBUR that we don't usually see these types of weather conditions in winter months.

"We had a very anomalous warm, moist atmosphere that just had enough oomph to produce these thunderstorms as they moved into western Massachusetts," Dunton said.

Acting Gov. Karyn Polito and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency officials visited Conway on Monday to inspect the damage and recovery efforts and thank first responders.

MEMA director Kurt Schwartz said his agency will be in the town as long as necessary.

"We'll stay and continue to support the town and coordinate mutual aid from state agencies and other communities," Schwartz said. "And when the town says they're all set, then we're all set."

Gov. Charlie Baker is in Washington, D.C.

With reporting by The Associated Press. A few photos of the damage: 

This article was originally published on February 27, 2017.

Support the news