Massachusetts Tornadoes Kill 4; State of Emergency Declared

Governor Deval Patrick has declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts after tornadoes left at least four people dead on Wednesday.

According to authorities, two people were killed in West Springfield, one in Springfield and another in Brimfield.

Dozens more were injured by the storms, which hit Springfield, the state’s third-largest city, particularly hard.

The storm was strong enough to tear the roofs off buildings, topple trees and render roads impassable.

The Rev. Bob Marrone, pastor of The First Church of Monson, said the storms had felled his church’s steeple.

Up to 1,000 troops from the National Guard have been sent in to help with rescue efforts across the 19 affected communities.

Schools are to remain closed as officials urged locals to stay at home in order to give emergency personnel a chance to clear up the streets.

Speaking to the press, Governor Patrick said: “We are in an emergency situation.

“We are hoping and praying and working as hard as possible to keep the fatalities limited to those four [confirmed dead].”

Although the Midwest has been hit by deadly tornadoes over the last month, tornadoes are less common in Massachusetts. The last twister to hit the state was in 2008.

State officials in Missouri confirmed on Wednesday that 134 people were killed by the massive tornado that hit Joplin, Mo. on May 22.

"It is our belief that, pending further deaths from those injured, the count is 134," said Seth Bundy, a spokesman for the state.

"We do have some folks critically injured in hospitals, and we're hoping and praying that they will pull through."