By Scott E. Mayer
On the afternoon of Wednesday, June 1, a rare outbreak of powerful tornadoes hit the New England area often referred to as "Gun Valley" in the firearms industry.
The tornadoes struck during rush hour and left at least four people dead and hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed. Areas directly affected by the damage include the homes of Savage Arms, Springfield Armory Museum, and Smith & Wesson.
"Twisters touched down a few miles from us. Both Savage facilities unharmed as well. We'll be doing what we can to help those who were not so fortunate. Lots of damage in the area surprisingly few injuries/deaths," posted one of our friends from Savage Arms on his personal Facebook site.
The company's official Facebook page mirrored that comment, "Westfield, MA factory and Suffield, CT sales office appear to be unharmed. Still not sure to what extent our employees are affected. Lots of property damage in the area, but thankfully few injuries."
Fans of Savage Arms poured out their support with comments such as, "Prayers for all of you," and, "It's nice to see the company cares about it's employees."
Nearby Springfield Armory Museum remained closed as a result of the "continued clean up work, traffic closures and complications on highways and rural roads throughout the city and adjacent communities."
Official spokespersons from Smith & Wesson were not available for comment at the time of this report, however this post on the company's Facebook page suggests all is well, "Smith & Wesson has survived the tornado! Neighborhoods are slowly recovering, thousands still without power. We watched the funnel cloud that appears in this video from our location, about 4 miles away."
To all of our friends in Gun Valley, you are in our thoughts and we wish you well.