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NEW: Gov. Deval Patrick Pledges Additional $4M for Tornado Relief

Friday, June 01, 2012

 

Central and Western Mass communities will get another $4 million in state aid as they continue to recover from last year’s deadly tornadoes.

Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday said the money will go to 10 cities and towns for clean-up and recovery efforts including the Central Mass towns of Brimfield, Charlton, Southbridge, Springfield and Sturbridge, which were all hit hard by last June’s swift and devastating storms that pummeled the region. The carnage was especially brutal in Brimfield, which lost entire forests of trees and saw one resident killed.

The governor is allotting $154,000 for Brimfield State Forest, as well, where charred trees, many snapped in half, still dot the landscape. The funding also includes $50,000 for fire safety assistance grants to the 10 communities, as well as surrounding communities that provide mutual aid for firefighting.

“Today, we mark the devastation of the tornadoes of the June 1, 2011 and resilience of those who have and continue to rebuild their lives,” said Patrick, who was slated to visit Monson and West Springfield later today to commemorate the anniversary. “I am proud of the progress we have made over the past year, and am confident that our communities are rebuilding and rebounding stronger than before. I am pleased to announce an additional $4 million to support the next phase of recovery, as a further indication of our commitment to stand with the people affected until every community is restored.”

Added Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray: “As we commemorate the first anniversary of the June 1, 2011 tornadoes, we remember the lives lost and remain committed to helping all impacted families and individuals recover and move forward. In the aftermath of the tornadoes, our administration has worked side by side with tornado-impacted communities in central and western Massachusetts and we will continue to do so until all communities are restored.”

Other recent efforts by the Patrick administration have included $2.1 million in affordable housing resources to rehabilitate the Center City Apartments in Springfield, a development heavily damaged by tornadoes; an additional $75,000 grant to support Rebuilding Together, Springfield’s effort to repair homes damaged by the tornadoes; Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby honoring 43 state employees at ceremonies in Springfield and Monson with the Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for their efforts responding to the tornadoes, among other initiatives.

 

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