Friday, April 9, 2010
Storm damage assessment begins
The sudden arrival of summer-like weather gave Carlisle residents a needed break this week as they assessed the damage from recent storms. After receiving nearly 15 inches of rain in March, the town’s streams and rivers are still running high and ponds are filled to capacity. Besides flooding many basements, the high water table has affected septic system leaching fields. Stone driveways have eroded, potholes have erupted in streets and broken branches litter roadsides.
Aid is available for homeowners through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Carlisle Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief David Flannery explained, “Now that the President has declared Middlesex County a Federal Area (with a Major Federal Disaster Declaration) residents that have damage may file with FEMA directly online.”
In addition, a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) opened on April 7 in Billerica to assist Middlesex Country residents and businesses, according to a FEMA press release (www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=50817). “Each DRC is staffed with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state agency disaster recovery specialists who are ready to help survivors through the process of applying for disaster assistance,” FEMA explained.
In a recent press release Governor Deval Patrick said, “We urge people to register with FEMA and apply for help, especially if you need assistance with housing, clothing, food and other basic needs.” He explained, “The President’s action makes Individual Assistance (IA) Programs available to affected homeowners, renters and businesses in a seven-county area.” Information can be found at www.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.
Damage reports just coming in
Flannery said he has observed “major damage” on Russell Street, and has received a report from Farmer Mark Duffy of erosion at Great Brook Farm. Information about damage is still being collected. Flannery said residents can find information about filing a claim on the town’s website, www.carlislema.gov.
Tallying the damage is going to take time, and reimbursements may not arrive for months, noted Town Administrator Tim Goddard. “If the past is any indication of the future, I would expect that it will take several months for the town and affected homeowners to see any reimbursement for their losses,” Goddard said. “More than likely those funds would be available in Fiscal Year 2011.” ∆
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