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.
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 email@example.com 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.
As the sun broke through for the first time in days yesterday a massive state wide clean up commenced. The three days of torrential rain brought havoc to many Massachusetts residents. Some remain homeless while countless others find themselves waist high in basement or first floor flooding water. The storm lasting this last Friday through Monday dropped more than 10 inches of rain in some parts of Eastern Massachusetts closing schools, roads, and businesses.
Major roads across the state remain closed and several rivers remain on the rise. Scott MacLeod, spokesman for Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency told reporters, “We’re still seeing a lot of communities with a lot of standing water… Most rivers are receding, but there are still a few that haven’t crested.” State officials are keeping an eye on the Ipswich, Charles, Taunton, and Mill rivers as they were expected to peak overnight and into this morning. They are keeping a particularly close watch on the Moody Street dam in Waltham where the Charles River remains high.
Governor Patrick Deval declared a state of emergency yesterday to aid in the state’s recovery. The support brought by this public announcement includes moving large pumps from out of state locations to hep in draining water from businesses and homes. It will also send the National Guard as reinforcements for the cleanup. Deval said the state must show $8.2 million in damages to receive federal aid. Home and business owners are urged to document all damages from the flood and report it to their insurance agencies. If federal aid is approved, denied claims may be partially or completely covered by the national aid.
Twenty-three schools reported delays or closings Tuesday morning as a result of flooding while 10 counties remained under a flood warning. Although the rain has come to an end, the clean up and recovery has only begun. Hopeful residents look to the shining sun as a good omen to recovery.
Massachusetts residents along the Shawsheen River wade through back yards
Rainstorms blew overt the Northeastern parts of Massachusetts this weekend flooding roadways and forcing some schools to close. At least nine deaths over the weekend may be attributed to this nasty storm and almost half a million customers were without electricity in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut during the peak of power outages yesterday. Peter Judge, spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, told reporters about 6,000 residents across Massachusetts were without power into the late afternoon yesterday.
Peabody, Massachusetts downtown area inundated by the storm’s influx of water is completely shut down. This is not the first time Peabody has experienced sever flooding. About four years ago the entire downtown area was shut down for five days due to flooding. Residents and business owners are crossing their fingers the water quickly moves through the town and does not persist as it did the last time around.
Winds gusted at a peak of 69 miles per hour yesterday as recorded by the Blue Hill Observatory near Milton. Wind speeds reached 54 miles per hour according to the Weather Service at Logan International Airport. In Manchester, New Hampshire yesterday a tree gave into the gusty winds falling onto southbound I-93 killing one and injuring two others.
As the rain continues to pour down on Massachusetts basements and roads continue to flood. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has reportedly closed select highway off ramps. In several places throughout the Northeast trains and subways have been replaced by buses. In the last afternoon yesterday two lanes down Interstate 93 were shut down at the parkway as well as parts of Morrissey Boulevard, Quincy Shorte Drive, and Columbia Road. Sand bags were even laid near Boston’s Frenway park to keep the subway station from flooding.
The first signs of spring and better weather should surface tomorrow with a highs in the 50s.