Thursday, June 2, 2011

The View from West Springfield, Massachusetts

I arrived in West Springfield this evening with mixed emotions -- I have seen the devastating photos and video on television, and just wasn't sure if it was proper for us to do business there this weekend.  But I am pleased to report that the locals are doing just that -- businesses are open, cleanup is underway.  The fairgrounds and hotel areas are untouched.  And I realized that if we cancelled, people here who work at the fairgrounds and surrounding businesses and rely on us for their livelihoods would suffer even more.  But it was important to me to be certain we aren't going to get in the way of cleanup and such. We aren't . . .

So the show must go on, and if you were planning to come, I hope you will join us.  I took some pictures so you could see from my perspective, but I did not go across the river to Springfield -- I felt it wasn't my place to do so.

DSC01792 DSC01781

Long shot of the grounds at the Eastern States Exposition (the Big E), and the Better Living Center where the show will be held -- from the street, it appears that the entire fairgrounds is untouched.  I also drove through the West Springfield hotel area and where we're staying out by the Hartford Airport -- both areas are also untouched.

DSC01788 DSC01786 DSC01784
DSC01785 DSC01787

But less than a mile away, there are lots of damaged trees.  If you come in from the "rotary" on Rt. 5, you'll see this church building (I think the church actually closed a year or two ago) and the damage to the trees that surround it.  I took five pictures of the church area.

DSC01772 DSC01773

A lot of trees and some buildings are damaged in the area closer to the river and the Rt. 5/Memorial Avenue rotary.  I held up my camera and snapped a bunch of pictures without looking while I was driving.  These were the ones that were in focus.

DSC01775 DSC01776

Just north of and inside the Rt. 5/Memorial Ave. rotary


And I saw a couple of these – semi trailers hauling branches away.  We had small tornadoes and some nasty thunderstorms in our area last week, but nothing like this.  Somehow, softball-sized hail just doesn’t compare.


  1. I can't even imagine the damage softball-sized hail would do. Pea-size hail did enough damage to our garden, but it's coming back. Thanks for sharing the pics, and glad the show must go on!

  2. You're right; softball size hail just doesn't compare. What struck me about your post is your sensitivity to the people of that community. The fact that you didn't feel "it your place" to across to Springfield speaks to your character. I appreciate your thoughtful nature and I know it carries over to Marco's customers. Everyone who works there is top notch!