Since the June 1, 2011 tornadoes in central and western Massachusetts, the Patrick-Murray Administration has remained committed to helping impacted communities and residents use this crisis as an opportunity to rebuild, renew and rebound. Throughout the past week, members of the Administration have visited impacted areas and announced additional funding to help with recovery efforts.
“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 Governor Patrick. “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.”
“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,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “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.”
Helping To Recover and Rebuild
In recent weeks, members of the Administration have traveled to western and central Massachusetts to recognize the individuals who dedicated their time to the rebuilding process, and to announce additional resources to assist the region.
- Governor Deval Patrick announced an additional $4 million in funding to assist 10 communities in clean up and recovery efforts
- Governor Patrick announced $2.1 million in affordable housing resources to rehabilitate the Center City Apartments in Springfield , a development heavily damaged by tornadoes. Using $1 million in state housing subsidies and $1.1 million in state and federal low-income housing tax credits awarded by the Patrick-Murray Administration, the project will preserve 47 units of mixed-income family housing in four buildings throughout three Springfield neighborhoods.
- Lieutenant Governor Murray announced a $300,000 grant for DevelopSpringfield to aid in the implementation of the Tornado Rebuilding Master Plan. The funds are being awarded by DHCD through the $15 million supplemental budget.
- The Lieutenant Governor also announced an additional $75,000 grant to support Rebuilding Together, Springfield’s effort to repair homes damaged by the tornadoes. The funding comes on top of the $100,000 awarded by the Patrick-Murray Administration to Rebuild Together in September 2011. Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey joined Lt. Governor Murray in Springfield to award $1.35 million in reimbursements to the City to fund essential storm damage repairs. The funds for Springfield are part of $3.9 million in federal emergency funds available to reimburse eight communities for the cost of emergency repairs associated with the storms. The funds supported rebuilding of roads, sidewalks and debris removal.
- Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby honored 43 state employees at ceremonies in Springfield and Monson with the Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for their efforts responding to the tornadoes.
- Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne F. Goldstein recognized leaders of tornado recovery efforts at Commonwealth Academy in Springfield, one of 14 work sites served by a $3 million National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant has provided temporary employment for 126 dislocated workers to date.
- Secretary Gonzalez toured a tornado site in Brimfield where he announced a $58,000 grant to the towns of Brimfield, Brookfield, East Brookfield, Warren and West Brookfield to purchase a sign-making machine and asphalt roller and trailer to assist in continued recovery efforts.
- Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki announced that more than 98 percent of the 11,500 tornado-related insurance claims filed after the June 1, 2011 storm have been paid, with policyholders receiving $200.3 million from carriers.
- Secretary of Education Paul Reville visited Square One in Springfield and Coburn Elementary in West Springfield to discuss how the tornado impacted school children.
To date, individuals, homeowners and businesses have received more than $26.7 million in federal disaster assistance to cover uninsured losses. The Department of Housing and Community Development helped hundreds of families find emergency shelter and has so far funded $525,000 in home repair. The Division of Insurance served as a resource and advocate for consumers filing $200 million in claims. More than 98 percent of the 11,500 tornado-related insurance claims filed after the June 1, 2011 storm have been paid, with policyholders receiving $200.3 million from carriers. More than 81 percent of claims were paid within four months of the storm. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has directed $2.3 million in state funding to repair more than 20 streets throughout the region.