West Stockbridge, MA Tornado Damage, Aug 1973


West Strockbridge, Mass. (AP) -- Four persons died and 31 were injured Tuesday as a tornado swept across eastern New York and into western Massachusetts, state police said.
Trees and utility poles were uprooted, and debris was scttered half a mile away from the three-building Berkshire Truck Plaza complex here, where the tornado leveled the State Line Diner.
Three of the dead were identified as ROBERT HOAG, 56, of New Hartford, N.Y.; LOUIS J. PASCALE, 28, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and CONSTANTINE DELMOLINO, 37, of West Stockbridge. A fourth victim, a man, was not immediately identified.
"I heard a snap and looked up and saw the whole roof divide down the middle and blow off," said KEITH LOVELESS of Stockbridge, who was having lunch at the diner.
"I thought I was dead," said another person, ROSA GILRONA of West Stockbridge. "I thought the whole city had been destroyed."
More than 30 state police from Massachusetts and New York and more than 60 volunteers from area fire departments and rescue squads were called to the scene.
The injured were taken to three Pittsfield hospitals. State police said some were treated and released, but there were several names of the danger list.
Lt. Gov. DONALD R. DWIGHT and ROBERT J. BOULAY, western Massachusetts Civil Defense director, flew to the scene to survey the damage.
No estimates of total damage was immediately available.
About 20 trucks and cars were overturned, and gas pumps from the truck complex garage were ripped off their stands.
The tornado apparently struck first at the Berkshire Farm for Boys in Canaan, N. Y., where DONALD J. COX, assistant executive director, estimated damage of $250,000. None of the farm's 225 residents were reported injured.
Electric clocks at the farm stopped at 20 seconds after 1 p.m. It was about 15 minutes later that the storm hit here.

The Bridgeport Telegram Connecticut 1973-08-29