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Rebuilding home: Monson tornado recovery through the fall

Posted by Lindsey Davis  December 6, 2011 08:17 PM

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The Monson community has experienced many twists and turns this year. Here is a look back on the tornado recovery efforts in town since September.

monson in fall The 39-mile long tornado path cuts through the town. Photo by Anna Meiler

Monson from Ely Road A heavily forested community before the storm, some Monson residents mourn the loss of their trees while others are enjoying the new view. Photo by Lindsey Davis

tornado path The purple band on the Monson town map serves as a reminder of the tornado's path as residents discuss plans to rebuild the town during a Vision Workshop at Monson High School. Photo by Lindsey Davis

Monson Town Hall Monson Town Hall took a beating by the tornado and the offices remain in their temporary location on Thompson Street. Photo by Lindsey Davis

IMG_0611.JPG Both town gymnasiums, one dating back to 1900, were severely damaged during the tornado. Photo by Lindsey Davis

89 Main Street, Monson With the trees stripped away, many Monson residents realize they have neighbors close by for the first time. Photo by Lindsey Davis

monson resident rebuildingRebuilding has been slow process for most of the hard hit areas. Photo by Rachel Roberts

Contractors in Monson Months after the storm, contractors advertise their services in town as residents finally begin rebuilding their homes. Photo by Lindsey Davis

new garage in Monson A garage on Ely Road is in the process of being rebuilt. Photo by Lindsey Davis

man roofing house in monson Dozens of houses and buildings in Monson suffered roof damage. Photo by Rachel Roberts

main street house in monson Several historic properties were in the tornado's path. Photo by Lindsey Davis

wood piles in monson Local volunteer groups such as the Street Angles and the Chainsaw Response Team dedicate their time to assisting neighbors with tree removal. Photo by Amy Chaunt

Thank you to Monson neighbors Michael and Geri Laferriere of 21 Ely Road have been overwhelmed with gratitude as community members and aid groups continue to assist them through the clean-up process. Photo by Lindsey Davis

Thank you sign to Monson neighbors Monson residents who lost their home to the tornado on Bethany Road thank all the volunteers that dedicate their time to help them. Photo by Anna Meiler

Reed Coles Monson resident Reed Coles of Ely Road, a specialist in historical renovation, was inspired to carve wooden tornados from the trees knocked down in the storm. Photo by Lindsey Davis


IMG_0921.JPG Volunteers plant new trees along State Street during an event hosted by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Photo by Lindsey Davis

family at monson tree planting ceremony Replanting Monson Tree Committee chairwoman Audra Staples brings along husband Dana and daughter River to participate in a tree planting ceremony hosted by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Photo by Lindsey Davis

methodist church_monson.jpg The early nor’easter was dé-jà vu for Monson tornado victims. Photo by Stacey Dill, Monson resident

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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