MONSON, Mass. (AP) — Work to restore a church steeple destroyed by a tornado that ripped across western Massachusetts more than two years ago has started.

The shattered steeple on the ground near the First Church of Monson became one of the enduring images of the widespread damage caused by the June 1, 2011 series of tornadoes that killed three people.

Work to restore the steeple began Tuesday and is expected to last a week.

First Church pastor, the Rev. Robert Marrone, tells The Republican ( ) the new steeple will help the church feel complete again and provide an emotional boost for the entire town.

The cost of the $2.4 million project is being covered by insurance.

The church dates to 1762 and the current building to 1873.


Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican,