Monday, June 6, 2011

Springfield Massachusetts

On Friday evening I took a drive back out to Springfield Mass with photographer and friend Justin Moreau. I chose to visit a location that I had been to on Thursday and earlier on Wednesday, just after the first tornado touched down. I went out again to continue documenting the area I had first went to. There was not nearly as many people out on Friday evening as there had been during the course of the day on Thursday. People it seemed, were not as curious as they had been with how strong of a coverage the media had been producing. By this time I also speculate that enough people had generated images to share and show for what had happened. The police and National Guard presence were deterrents for people trying to enter in some of the most devastated areas. The National Guard was politely re-directing people away from the scene, as many still tried to enter certain areas that were blocked off. Looting was a serious threat, and very well prevented by police efforts. Small attempts were still being made, as on misfortunate individual found out the hard way. After police pulled him over in the red zone, (area blocked off with red tape denoting serious damage), he proceeded to use his vehicle as a weapon. Police opened fire hitting the suspect.

It was acts like this that had officials and police concerned, among the crowds of individuals that came out to witness the scene, their safety was also a priority. One officer parked mid-way down on Main st was in his car using his speaker as a means to yield on comers with the phrase, "This is not a tourist attraction, turn around and leave now." They meant every word of it and were threatening arrest to those who did not listen. I managed to document some of the transitions and changes to the landscape. One of the most recognizable changes comes to the block and intersection of Main st and Union st.

From this panorama you can see the buildings have come down that were standing the day prior to this being made. The barrier had been pushed back as a preventative measure to ensure peoples safety, as groups of onlookers watched in horror, shock, and sadness as the cities landscape began to change. It was surreal and shocking to see the building down. On Wednesday, just moments after the tornado had struck, I stood in the middle of Main st, right next to the demolished building. I am no longer able to get close enough to produce an image that further shows the change in the landscape of the city. I will have to wait until the street becomes clear and city is back on track, which will take some time. Below is a second gallery from Friday evening.

No comments: