'Many injuries' reported in Massachusetts tornadoes
At least two tornadoes struck Springfield, Massachusetts, and numerous other communities in the western part of the state Wednesday, leaving behind "many injuries" and extensive damage, the state's governor said.
As many as 19 communities around Springfield, about 90 miles west of Boston, reported tornado damage Wednesday evening, Gov. Deval Patrick told reporters. Patrick declared a state of emergency as the storm system that spawned those twisters moved east, with watches posted all the way to the Atlantic coast until late Wednesday.
"It's been particularly devastating in downtown Springfield," the governor said. He said a local official told him, "You have to see Monson to believe it."
Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Michael Popovics said Springfield, Monson and eight other towns -- Agawam, Charlton, Oxford, Palmer, Sturbridge, West Springfield, Westfield and Wilbraham -- reported severe damage. Sandra Ahearn, a spokeswoman for the Western Massachusetts Electric Co., said 12,000 customers were without power in the utility's service area and that hard-hit areas might not have electricity until the end of the week.