Massachusetts tornado graded ‘severe,’ weather service says

Posted June 03, 2011, at 2:54 p.m.

TAUNTON, Mass. — The National Weather Service says storm damage in the hardest hit-areas in Massachusetts likely was from a “severe” tornado rated at least EF-3, meaning it had wind speeds between 136 and 165 mph.

The weather service said Friday early information shows a tornado that moved from Westfield through Springfield and east to Monson and beyond got the classification of “EF-3 or higher” on the Enhanced Fujita Scale that goes from 1 to 5. EF-3 tornadoes can cause “severe damage,” including overturning cars and ripping off roofs.

The National Weather Service said it still was conducting a detailed survey from the Wednesday storms that flattened more than 200 structures and killed at least three people.