Pastor: Monson battered by apparent tornado

June 1, 2011

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MONSON, Mass.—A pastor in Monson says his town has been walloped by an apparent tornado that took down his church's steeple, while battering houses and uprooting massive trees.

The Rev. Bob Marrone of The First Church of Monson said roads are impassable after the storm struck late Wednesday afternoon.

The steeple fell, but Marrone said he's more concerned about massive damage to homes in Monson, south of the Quabbin Reservoir in western Massachusetts.

Marrone said when the storm hit, he and his wife took shelter in the first floor of their house, until breaking windows led them to flee to the basement.

He said he emerged to find nine of 10 oaks along his driveway down, one crab apple tree tossed 150 feet and devastation "360 degrees around us."