Experts to study apparent Mass. tornadoes

June 1, 2011

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TAUNTON, Mass.—Authorities say experts are preparing to go out to assess the severity of a severe weather system that has spawned at least two tornadoes that killed at least four people and caused heavy damage in 19 Massachusetts communities.

The assessment will enable the National Weather Service to figure out where tornadoes touched down on Wednesday and determine their strength.

Gov. Deval (deh-VAL') Patrick says two confirmed tornadoes hit the state. The most powerful started in Westfield and continued east to Douglas.

Meteorologist Glen Field says there were also preliminary reports of touchdowns in Monson and Sturbridge.

The severe weather has damaged homes and businesses, took down trees and power lines and rendered roads impassable.

Patrick declared a state of emergency and called up 1,000 National Guard troops to help in security, search-and-rescue as well as clean-up operations.