Federal Emergency Management Agency


Massachusetts State of Emergency

A major water main break in Weston this past Saturday has disrupted water supply to 38 Massachusetts communities and affected more than 2 million people since its burst. The 10-foot diameter pipe’s damage was discovered in an area where two pipes join carrying treated water from the Quabbin reservoir.  Although the water main has been repaired today, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) expects the earliest regular service to be restored Wednesday May 5th.
President Obama has declared a state of emergency due to the large effects of the water main break. This declaration by Obama authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to aid State and local response efforts.

Emergency water has been switched on however is not safe for consumption as the MWRA mandated a “boil-water” order in effect until further notice from Governor Patrick. The boiling water order requires water used for drinking, cooking, other food preparation involving water and brushing teeth. Governor Deval Patrick has administered water testing in more than 400 locations stating he would rather err on the side of caution before removing the boiling ban.

More than residential homes have been effected, restaurants and coffee shops alike have been stalled from the water main break. Unable to wash dishes or churn ice cubes restaurants have been forced to shut down until further notice.

Obama In Framingham & Ways to Seek Flood Relief

President Obama Visits Framingham, Massachusetts - Adresses Federal State of Disaster

President Barack Obama made an unprecedented stop in Framingham, Massachusetts yesterday. After a speech on health care reform in Portland and before two fundraising appearances in Boston, President Obama visited the  Emergency Management Agency. At the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Obama met with Governor Deval Patrick to receive an update on the flooding caused by the El Nino weather pattern over the past few weeks and thank workers and officials for their dedication and efforts to combat the flood.

The President declared a federal disaster in Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester counties. As a result of the federal disaster the Internal Revenue Service has postponed the federal April 15th deadline for filing to May 11th.It is important to not however that the extension is only applies to those who own a business or reside in the declared federal disaster area. For further information about the specific tax relief being provided, visit the IRS web site here.

Individual Assistance Programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) include individuals and households programs, disaster unemployment assistance, crisis counseling, legal assistance, tax relief, and Small Business Administration disaster loans.

Business and homeowners may apply for assistance programs by contacting the FEMA Teleregistration numbers: 800-621-FEMA (3362) or 800-462-7585 for those who are hearing- and speech-impaired. You may also apply for the assistance programs online at: http://www.fema.gov. For information about the Small Business Administration low interest loans and other aid contact the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, 800-877-8339 for the speech- or hearing-impaired. SBA may also be reached by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or visiting www.sba.gov.

Before contacting FEMA/ SBA pelase have on hand: your Social Security number, telephone number where you can be reached, address of damaged property, current mailing address, a brief description of disaster-related damages and losses as well as insurance information and direct deposit information to expedite the transfer of funds.

Deval Writes Obama for Flood Disaster Declaration

Governor Deval Patrick has written President Obama asking for a declaration of disaster in Massachusetts. This would bring federal funds to residents and businesses who have suffered losses from the recent storm and flooding. Patrick’s office has reported hundreds of homes suffering significant, uninsured damages; more than 1,000 experienced minor but still considerable losses; and many nursing homes have needed to be evacuated. Residents still question whether their homes are safe to live in after sustaining major damages.

His letter to the president cites the record breaking rainfall of 6 to 10 inches in some areas of Bristol, Essex, Norfolk, Middlesex, Plymouth and Suffolk counties. The letter specifically mentions the death of a Middleton resident while he was pumping water out of his business and hospitalization of a Dedham man injured when a sewer pipe burst while removing water from his basement.

“Floodwaters poured into thousands of homes and hundreds of businesses, forcing residents to evacuate and posing health risks associated with sewage backups and mold growth,”

Governor Deval Patrick in his letter to the President

A disaster declaration may open a verity of programs to both residents and businesses according to Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Federal grants may be given to residents to make home repairs and replace heating or electrical systems. Federal funding may also help those who have been displaced due to flooding by helping pay for the temporary housing costs. Disaster programs would be made available to residents in Essex, Middlesex, Worcester, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bristol, and Plymouth counties. Last week Federal Emergency Management Agency and state emergency officials inspected flooded areas to appreciate damages suffered by homeowners.

Although the rain has held off thus far Massachusetts residents are in for another trying weekend. Pull out your winter jackets and gloves, according to the National Weather Service temperatures are to drop today and tomorrow with a chance of rain.

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