A year after rare twister, Mass. residents rebound



MONSON, Mass. (AP) -- A year after tornadoes flattened hundreds of homes and left three dead in Massachusetts, one of the worst-hit neighborhoods is still undergoing a facelift.

Nine houses were decimated on Bethany Road in the town of Monson. Neighbors say the June 1 tornado cemented their sense of community as they pitched in to clear debris, make meals and figure out what exactly to do next.

Today, there are five new homes on the street, and one more under construction. But empty lots remain.

Bald patches mar slopes where pine trees once towered. The rumble of trucks and buzz of saws drown out songbirds. New homes mingle with 100-year-old Victorians.

Town Administrator Gretchen Neggers says Monson looks different but it's still beautiful. She says in some ways, it was even beautiful the day after the tornado because of the way the people came together.

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