Monday, August 14, 2023
Individuals, families, businesses, the Town, and State are grappling with impacts of the flooding of the August 8 storm. The following is an update as of August 14:
As your State Representative, my responsibility is to advocate for your interests to the State, communicate information, and act as a convener.
- Currently, this means explaining the situation to the MEMA (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency), the state’s emergency response agency.
- As you email me, I will add you to this information distribution list, but I encourage you to submit reports of individual damage to the Town via SeeClickFix.
- On Friday, August 11, Needham town officials and I met with Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll to explain the extent of the damage in our community and make the case for federal emergency declaration.
- I am in touch with the Speaker of the House and the Chair of Ways and Means staffs to ensure that they are aware of the damage to our Town as they discuss with the Executive Branch impacts in North Andover, Lawrence, Natick and towns all the way to Mattapoisett.
- Additionally, I have contacted (at the federal level) Congressman Auchincloss regarding FEMA’s calculation of impacts.
- As you may recall I have also contacted Lori Ehrlich, the FEMA Region 1 Director.
- It is the responsibility of the state to petition the federal government for the President to order a disaster declaration, which could open up federal aid to individual residents, businesses and the municipality. The primary focus of MEMA at this point is assisting communities in conducting damage assessments as a standard first step in the recovery process. There is a 30-day window for this data gathering but extensions are usually granted.
- This could be a lengthy process, but I will continue to advocate for you and our community.
- If you or anyone you know had more than 18 inches of water in the first floor living space please contact the Town Manager’s office immediately.
- In response to the damage and requests of some residents, the Town issued a declaration of emergency, which you can read here. Please note this is different from a federal disaster declaration, which would have to be requested by the state and issued by the President, as explained above. The local emergency declaration was requested by many individuals and may be helpful to some people in dealing with their homeowners insurance.
- Residents and businesses can get the most current information and submit reports of damaged personal property on the Town of Needham’s dedicated webpage. This information gathering will help the town assess the magnitude of concerns.
What you can do
- Continue to take pictures or all damage for your records and keep receipts for all costs incurred. If there will be any resources available, they will be in the form of reimbursements.
- While your home insurance may not cover damage caused by catastrophic flooding, it is extremely important that you document all flooding and damage in photos and submit a claim. If your claim is denied, be sure to have that denial in writing.
I understand how unsettling and difficult this is for you. Please know that my staff and I are working to support our town’s residents, businesses and the municipality.
Yours in service,