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Public Statements - Senator Scott Brown Tours Tornado Progress in Springfield

News Article

Location: Springfield, MA

By Ray Hershel

Senator Scott Brown gets a first hand look at some of the progress being made in Springfield following last June's tornado.

On Thursday, Senator Brown took a walking your of one section in East Forest Park that was heavily damaged by last June's tornado.

New homes dot the landscape after they were destroyed a year ago.

Jay McLaughlin owns one of those homes on what's now a treeless piece of property." This piece of land had 9 large oak trees on this property and they all came down and a couple of them landed directly on the house , pretty much wiped it out," says McLaughlin.

And he'll never forget the sound," It came from this direction here right through these two houses, fortunately we had time to get into the cellar and nobody got hurt but it was like having a freight train come through your house," says McLaughlin.

McLaughlin says his house has been rebuilt and he's just about ready to move back in.

Along the way Senator Brown heard concerns from local owners involving frustration over some contractors and insurance companies.

Senator Brown says he was impressed with overall progress made in Springfield, however he does have some concerns about reimbursement from FEMA,"The city is owed tens of millions of dollars and right now you're trying to come up with a new budget, and there's a budget hole, so they need to get the money ,we've authorized it in the federal government and they need to get it out and back to the city to do the repairs and reimburse the outlay of funds," says Senator Brown.

Senator Brown says he wants to get all parties in the same room to solve the problem whether it's through a video link or a conference call.

And that call will involve FEMA, the senators staff, and the mayor's office.

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