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Springfield’s South End still in shambles after June 1 tornadoes

Posted by Nick Russo  October 3, 2011 09:39 AM

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Four months after a tornado tore through Springfield’s South End, much of the neighborhood is still in disrepair with businesses closed or relocated, housed boarded up, and reconstruction moving slowly.

Unlike the town of Monson, which also suffered through the storm, there appears to be a greater amount of destruction in Springfield and little visible community organization to support reconstruction efforts.

Below are pictures of the destruction taken during a tour of the area on Sept. 23.

parkinglotsecc.jpg
A portion of the South End Community Center from the parking lot of Dave's Furniture on the corner of Union St. and Main St.

backsecc.jpg
A closer look at the wreckage behind the South End Community Center.

frontsecc.jpg
The front of the South End Community Center.

davebefore.JPG
A 2008 photo of the front of Dave's Furniture store on Main and Union. Compare this photo to the one below, taken 9/23/11. (Thanks to Tony Mateus of thepioneervalley.blogspot.com for the use of his photo.)

daveafter.jpg
The same storefront as the previous picture.

condemnhouses.jpg
Two houses boarded up and condemned unfit for human habitation by the City of Springfield. A court summons was posted on the front entrance of each dwelling.

flowers.jpg
Amidst the wreckage behind the houses, nature shows signs of resilience.

developmentopp.jpg
A school that is now simply a “Development Opportunity.”

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the authors

Students in Steve Fox's Investigative Journalism & the Web class at UMass-Amherst have teamed up with the Globe to take a close-up look at the painful process of rebuilding from the June 2011 tornadoes that killed four and devastated communities in the Springfield area. Their work will also appear in the Boston Globe. Steve joined the journalism faculty at UMass-Amherst in 2007 and has 25 years of experience as an editor and reporter for print and online publications, including 10 as an editor at The Washington Post's award-winning website.

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