Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency yesterday for the second time this month as heavy rain returns to the Bay State. The third heavy rainfall this month brought a total of 11 inches of rain to Boston, a record breaking downfall. The National Weather Service reported areas of Massachusetts experienced 12.8 inches of rain this March. The Weather Service expects this number to rise to more than 15 inches by the end of the day today. Only second to a tropical August in 1955 this is one of the wettest months areas of Massachusetts has ever experienced.
Rivers continue to rise form their already swollen state as the relentless rains continue to fall. National Guard services were activated yesterday for various precautionary tasks in an effort to curb additional flooding from residential areas and businesses. Seven hundred National Guard troops were deployed this morning to help with the storm efforts.
Monday afternoon President Obama replied to Governor Patrick’s request for federal aid declaring the state a federal disaster area bringing federal funding to Massachusetts. Patrick said the funding will be used to bring housing back to a livable state offering grants to homeowners for things such as new water heaters and furnaces for flooded basements. Business owners will also have the opportunity to apply for low interest loans.
During a press conference yesterday the Governor did not call for specific areas to be evacuated however cautioned residents to closely observe the storm and if needed be prepared to evauate. Last night the Charles and Sudbury River levels exceeded flooding stages. Patrick advocated for drivers to use public transportation warning drivers it only takes two feet of standing water to sweep a vehicle away, with the driver in it.
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,”
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.
Joseph Murphy has been named the new Commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Insurance. He has acted as commissioner since September 2009 after Nonnie Burnes resigned from the position. Serving as first deputy of commissions since 2006 he has played an active role in the transition to managed competition. However this is not his only qualifying position, Murphy has also served as: chief of staff and research director of the Joint Committee of Financial Services and the Joint Committee on Insurance in the Massachusetts legislature.
Murphy Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick appointed Murphy to the position. Deval publicly recognized Murphy for his outstanding role in the administration’s auto insurance deregulation and day to day operation of the division including its 130 employees and $12 million budget since Burne’s resignation.
“Joe deserves a significant amount of credit for the success of managed competition and is a leader in our efforts to stabilize health insurance costs for small businesses. He has a keen understanding of the issues that matter to consumers and insurers alike, and will use his knowledge and experience to help us move forward on auto insurance reform, health care cost containment and a host of other initiatives.”
Over the past month the Massachusetts Government says jobs were created in the professional, scientific and business services; education and health services; government; and construction sectors. It was also stated jobs were lost in the manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; and financial activities sectors.
Governor Deval Patrick, the Governor of Massachusetts, recently announced that he was going to be backing the “Hummer” Tax. It calls for a tax on all larger vehicles that consume larger amounts of gas. If passed, owners of these vehicles will be taxed more when they register their cars with the state.
Mixed views on the tax are already starting to pour in. Some feel the tax is unfair because it is not always a personal choice to have a larger vehicle. Larger families do require more seating when traveling.
On the other side of the argument, people feel that this is a great way to deter people from buying vehicles that are more damaging to the environment.
One aspect of the tax that could have a huge effect on whether or not it is passed is that it effects everyone, not just SUV owners! Although the title is very catchy it does not do the proposal justice. The proposal also calls for a 19 cent tax increase at the pump to help boost the Massachusetts public transportation system! Don’t sit on the sidelines, get involved because this effects us all!
A new bill is being proposed that would require the elderly to be tested to see that they are fit to be driving. Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute said that by 2030 25 percent of drivers on the road will be 65 and older.
According to the insurance institute of highway safety, the elderly have the highest rate of fatal crashes than any other group except young drivers. The new bill would require that elderly 85 and over would have to take road and vision tests before being eligible to drive.
On a local radio show last Thursday, Governor Deval Patrick, said “If it comes to me, I’ll sign it.”
It’s important to look at all affects of the bill before making your own opinion. Is it possible that seniors have just been given a bad name due to a few crashes? What kind of transportation will be available to seniors that lose their license due to the bill? Will the bill make the roads safer for everyone?
After considering both sides of the bill you will be much more qualified to speak on the topic.
Boston Power, located in Westborough, Massachusetts, will be building the 455,000 sq ft plant. The facility will be built in Auburn and will provide 600 jobs to the local area.
The plant will also provide an estimated 2,000 jobs through supply chain vendors.
Governor Deval Patrick said, “Our goal is to make Massachusetts a manufacturing hub for the advanced batteries that will power the nation’s clean energy future, and Boston-Power’s plan to create this facility in Auburn is a big step toward that goal.”
This is big news for us. If all goes as planned, we can be the leaders in our nation’s search for clean energy!