U.S. Rep. Richard Neal says accurate damage assessments will help hasten tornado aid
SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, equipped with a pair of sneakers, has seen the tornado damage ranging from severely damaged homes, schools and business blocks to the pummeled and toppled trees of his district.
Neal’s 2nd District stretches through Western and Central Massachusetts, and he said Friday he has seen the hardest hit areas including Monson, Wilbraham, Brimfield, Southbridge and various neighborhoods in Springfield.
He believes the touring and ongoing assessments by local, state and federal agencies and officials are helping to gather accurate information that is needed and will help “hasten aid.” He has conferred with the White House and with state and federal agencies.
At mid-afternoon on Friday, he stood on South Branch Parkway in Sixteen Acres, and praised the work being done by electric company crews that are restoring power in the neighborhood. In addition, he viewed some of the damage to private properties including rows of downed trees and large branches.
“It doesn’t stop the joggers,” Neal said.
Neal spoke with Gov. Deval L. Patrick soon after the tornadoes hit, and has traveled with the officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.