Monday's storm hit Revere, a coastal city of about 52,000 residents, with winds of up to 120 mph. The National Weather Service said it was a relatively modest EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale of 0 to 5.
No deaths or serious injuries were reported.
City and state officials planned to continue damage assessments Tuesday. City Hall was among the dozens of buildings that sustained damage. Thirteen homes rendered uninhabitable.
Mayor Dan Rizzo said Tuesday the city appeared to be getting back on its feet.
"These recovery and rebuilding efforts will continue over the next several days and I would like to ask all residents to be as patient as they can as we move forward with this cleanup effort," Rizzo said in a statement.
Any residents who believed there was a dangerous situation at their homes were encouraged to call the city for assistance, the mayor said.
State police were on hand overnight to protect against any looting in the city. A shelter was opened for displaced residents, but Rizzo said it appeared that all residents who were unable to return to their homes found friends or relatives to stay with.
Tornadoes are relatively unusual in Massachusetts, but extremely rare along the coast. The National Weather Service said it had not had a report of a tornado in Suffolk County, which includes Boston and Revere, since it began keeping tornado records in 1950.
The tornado was on the ground for about four minutes, sending residents scrambling for safety.
Luis Fonseca said emergency warnings came too late. By the time a tornado warning popped up on his cellphone, he said, he was already running to the basement with his niece and nephew as windows shattered and the wooden house swayed from side to side.