NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - Gov. Maura Healey visited Williamsburg and North Adams on Wednesday to survey damage from Monday's heavy rain storms.
There are about 20 significant areas impacted in North Adams. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has been visiting all of the communities who declared a state of emergency.
What You Need To Know
- Gov. Maura Healey made stops in Williamsburg and North Adams on Wednesday to assess storm damage with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and local representatives
- In addition to needed repairs, Gov. Healey spoke about future infrasture investments needed in communities across the state, particularly smaller communities
- At this time, MEMA has not yet determined whether the level of damage will meet the $12.4 million threshold needed to qualify for federal disaster aid, according to MEMA spokesperson Sara Porter
- North Adams Mayor Jennifer Macksey is urging residents who find any water in the basement of their home to contact the city
“As governor, I am committed to working with the mayor, to working with our communities who have been devastated by this incident, to get the repairs and to get things up in order," Healey said.
The city of North Adams is currently estimating more than $2 million in repairs are needed and Mayor Jennifer Macksey said more damaged areas continue to be discovered.
“That was something I've never seen before," said Emily Bryant, who lives on one of the damaged roads in North Adams. "I didn't know it was going to be this bad. I feel terrible for other people who may have gotten it worse. I mean, like, yeah, that's not great, but some people are completely flooded.”
Over on Church Street in North Adams, Michelle Groves said she’s still able to live in her home, but she’s hoping something can be done to fix her driveway which was washed away on Monday. She also still has water in the basement and now has to get rid of items damaged from flooding.
“It's horrifying, it really is," Groves said. "I mean, when the water was coming through here so fast and it was slowly eroding away, I was having a nervous breakdown because I thought for sure this whole corner of my house was just going to go. And then I mean, I grew up here. This is this is my family home. And I just thought it was all going to be gone in one swoop.”
State Sen. Paul Mark said from a family and small business perspective, farmers across the state are losing crops due to the flooding.
“There's a fear that water coming down from Vermont is still going to hit a bunch of our communities, especially some of our farming communities near the Connecticut River," Mark said. "And then there's going to be more rain in the coming days. And that might either exacerbate the problem or reignite the problem. And so we've got the commissioner of AG coming out. She's going to tour some of the farms because if farmers have lost their crops, this is going to be a problem for them for the entire season, for the entire year.”
"You know, look at our neighbors, look at our neighbors to the north, in the west, in Vermont, devastating," Healey said. "They expect it'll be worse than Irene. And I think, unfortunately, what we know is that we are going to see more and more severe weather incidents, which is why we as a state, I think we as an administration have really prioritized that we've got to do this work, we've got to do this work.”
Healey said the state has yet to determine what funding will look like at the state and federal level as areas continue to be assessed. Impacted communities across the Commonwealth are hoping for long-term infrastructure solutions.