Scott MacLeod, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, confirmed the deaths Wednesday night but said there were no details about the circumstances. He said two people died in Westfield, one in West Springfield and one in Brimfield.
Gov. Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency Wednesday night and said the state had enlisted the help of 1,000 National Guard troops to help residents clean up the rubble left behind after strong winds, hail and thunderstorms hit along the Massachusetts-Connecticut border.
The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down in Springfield at 4:32 p.m.
Patrick said at least two tornadoes touched down. He said the path of damage from the first and more powerful of the two tornadoes extended from Westfield, just west of Springfield, and extended east to the community of Douglas. He said the second, slightly less powerful, tornado cut a path from West Springfield to Sturbridge.
Rescuers reported "devastation."