Storms once again damage Wilbraham neighborhoods
WILBRAHAM, Mass. -- On Wednesday morning people in Wilbraham and other surrounding towns picked up the pieces after another severe round of weather on Tuesday.
“Whether they called it a tornado or not…I think we just can’t believe that this is happening,” said Marie Pratt.
“It doesn’t make a difference what they call it…everything around our house is wiped out,” said John Sarno.
Unlike the deadly tornadoes on June 1, Tuesday evening’s storm didn’t pack the same punch, but it still left much to be cleaned up.
“It’s got to be a tornado. This has to be a tornado,” said Sandy Hill-Budreau.
Sandy Hill-Budreau says her street wasn’t touched when the tornado hit in June. She says this time, the storm devoured her neighborhood.
“It sounded like a train going through and then I ran for the basement,” said Hill-Budreau.
“It came through like a spear and landed right here -- thank God he was in the basement,” said Paul Robbins.
Robbins’ 17-year-old son is normally sitting at his desk, but on Tuesday night his family is thankful that he wasn’t when a branch shot through their home.
“We lost really old probably 100-year-old trees. Again I don’t know what they’re saying, but it feels like tornado because the tops of the trees are cut off. My son was saying it was raining branches and then really big branches and he felt the house shake and so he went into the basement and that’s when it hit his room,” said Robbins.
Their home was spared from deadly tornadoes in June, but this time they weren’t so lucky.
“We had some experience from the last time so thank God he headed the warning. Dress rehearsal cause I guess is the new normal for us,” said Robbins.
Trees were down everywhere in the area, roads were blocked and power was knocked out in the entire town.
“Oh no not again! Wilbraham the new tornado alley,” said Carolyn Breenan.
At one point, radio communication for the fire and police departments were knocked out, but temporary radios were put into place. Now things are running normally under the circumstances.
“Before I could even get organized it sounded like glass was breaking and I heard the tree hit the house and we just sort of hung tight,” said David Pieciak.
Pieciak says in these times, stories of incredible kindness are constant.
“There’s a crew that came through here last night, about six young guys with chain saws - I couldn’t get out of my driveway and they just offered to help…a handshake and I gave them some cold water and they just continued on,” said Pieciak. “I don’t know who they were.”
Main Street and many other roads were completely closed on Tuesday night as crews worked to clear downed trees.
Pine trees on one golf course were shredded apart. The storm knocked out radio communication for the fire and police departments in the area. MEMA brought in portable radios to help.
There are about 5,000 customers who are still without power in the region.
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