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65th Anniversary of June 9, 1953 Worcester Tornado

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Most of us remember the June 1, 2011 tornadoes that ripped through Springfield, Brimfield and Southbridge that killed 3 and injured hundreds, but there is a chance you might not have been born 65 years ago when the 1953 Worcester Tornado hit the area on June 9, 1953.

Just before 4:30PM, the tornado touched down in a forest Petersham, and proceeded to move through Barre.  It roared through Worcester, where it destroyed Assumption College and several other buildings continuing through to Shrewsbury, Southborough and Westborough where it finally dissipated over Framingham.

The powerful storm stayed on the ground for nearly 90 minutes, traveling 48 miles across Central Massachusetts.  In total, 94 people were killed, making it the 20th deadliest tornado in the history of the United States.  Over 1,000 people were injured and 4,000 buildings were damaged.   At the time, the tornado caused about $52 million in damage, which is estimated to be around  $350 million today.

Take a look at this amazing video, titled “Tornado in New England” featuring photographs by Marvin Richmond of Worcester and narrated by William G. Porter.

Henry Ekberg took this rare color film before and after the Worcester tornado tore up the Burncoat area of Worcester,MA in 1953.  Check out the backyard cookout attire from back in the day!