Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Boston, MA

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921
NOUS41 KBOX 270328
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CTZ002>004-MAZ002>024-026-RIZ001>008-280330-

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Taunton MA
1028 PM EST Sun Feb 26 2017

...Tornado Confirmed in Goshen MA in Hampshire County and
Conway MA in Franklin County...

Locations...Goshen, MA and Conway, MA
Date...February 25 2017
Estimated Time...718 PM - 725 PM EST
Maximum EF-Scale Rating...EF1
Maximum Wind Speed...110 MPH
Maximum Path Width...200 yards
Path Length...5 miles
Beginning Lat/Lon...42.41N / -72.80W
Ending lat/Lon...42.51N / -72.67W
* Fatalities...0
* Injuries...1

* The information in this statement is preliminary and subject to
change pending final review of the event(s) and publication in
NWS Storm Data.

...Summary...
The National Weather Service in Taunton, MA conducted a damage
survey this afternoon in the western MA towns of Conway, Ashfield,
Goshen, and Chesterfield. We concluded that there was a very brief
tornado touchdown in a small portion of Goshen, MA. It then
lifted for several miles before touching down and cutting a 5-mile
path through the town of Conway, MA, where high-end EF1 tornado
damage occurred.

The tornado touched down around 718 PM in Goshen. Then it struck
Conway from approximately 720 PM to 725 PM. Wind gusts in most of
the damaged areas were estimated at 80-100 mph, but two sections
of Conway had wind gusts estimated at 100-110 mph...on Main Poland
Road and Whately Road. The path width in Conway varied from
50 yards in western Conway to 200 yards near the town hall.

In Goshen, several pine trees were snapped mid-way and two homes
were damaged by trees falling onto them on Pine Road, just to the
east of Hammond Pond.

The tornado then touched down with a vengeance on Main Poland Road
in the western part of Conway. A sharp gradient of damage versus
no damage was very evident. Large sections of forest had thick
pine trees that were snapped mid-way up and some closer to their
bases. Numerous power lines were downed and there were numerous
road closures. From there, there was a continuous path into
downtown Conway.

In the area just to the southeast of the town hall, there were
several houses that were severely damaged on Whately Road. Roofs
were blown off, with some metal wrapped around middle and upper
portions of trees. In one case, a the side walls of a house were
missing with the interior of the house exposed. On Hill View Road
there was a large barn that was collapsed. Numerous trees and
power lines were down. One injury occurred when a tree landed on
a house just northeast of there, on South Deerfield Road
(Route 116). That was approximately where the visible damage path
ended.

Several people that we spoke to heard a tell-tale roaring sound
and immediately sought shelter in their basements. It was very
fortunate that nobody was killed in this event.

This was a highly unusual occurrence. In fact, there has never
been a tornado during the month of February since official tornado
statistics have been kept, dating back to 1950.

The survey team is very grateful for the help provided by the
Police, Fire, and Emergency Management Director of Conway; the
Fire Department and Emergency Management Director of Goshen; the
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency; members of the public
who were kind enough to share their eyewitness accounts and access
to their property; and especially to the Western Massachusetts
Amateur Radio Skywarn Coordinator, who guided us quickly to the
damaged areas.

This information can also be found on our website at
weather.gov/box.

For reference...the Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes
into the following categories:

EF0...wind speeds 65 to 85 mph.
EF1...wind speeds 86 to 110 mph.
EF2...wind speeds 111 to 135 mph.
EF3...wind speeds 136 to 165 mph.
EF4...wind speeds 166 to 200 mph.
EF5...wind speeds greater than 200 mph.

$$

FIELD/FRANK/THOMPSON

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