13 years later: Springfield Parish reflects on June 1 tornado

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – June 1st marks 13 years since one of the most memorable and destructive tornadoes ever touched down in western Massachusetts, killing three people and injuring hundreds more.

Springfield residents reflect on their resilience after the EF-3 tornado devastated the city’s neighborhoods. Our Lady of Mount Carmel was one of the locations directly hit in the 10.2 miles of damage to the city.

The parish observed a moment of silence during its service Saturday afternoon at 4:38 p.m., when the tornado first touched down in Springfield.

Mayor Domenic Sarno said that while this was one of the city’s darkest days, they stayed strong and bounced back. “At 16:38 … it ripped a sphere of devastation through a third of the city and it was the resilience of the people that kept me, my team, all of us going day and night,” he reflected.

Mayor Sarno also thanked first responders for their heroic service to the city during this difficult time.