Springfield, Mass., hit with at least two tornadoes
At least two tornadoes struck Springfield, Mass., and numerous other communities in the western part of the state Wednesday, leaving behind "many injuries" and extensive damage, the state's governor said.

As many as 19 communities around Springfield, about 90 miles west of Boston, reported tornado damage Wednesday evening, Gov. Deval Patrick told reporters. Patrick declared a state of emergency as the storm system that spawned those twisters moved east, with watches posted all the way to the Atlantic Coast until late Wednesday.

"It's been particularly devastating in downtown Springfield," he said. One local official told him, "You have to see Monson to believe it," the governor said.

Patrick said he has mobilized National Guard troops to assist with cleanup and search-and-rescue operations. The Massachusetts State Police said it had activated dog teams to look for people in damaged buildings and described many streets in Springfield as "impassable" due to fallen power lines and trees.

Sandra Ahearn, a spokeswoman for the Western Massachusetts Electric Co., said 12,000 customers were without power in the utility's service area and that hard-hit areas might not have electricity until the end of the week.