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LEOMINSTER, MASS. (WHDH) - Recovery efforts are ongoing in Leominster now one week after severe flooding damaged businesses, homes and infrastructure.
Large sections of the city were inundated on Monday of last week. As many continue to deal with the damage, local business owners are pleading with the city for more assistance.
“We can’t continue to lose our properties, our valuables,” one person said during the public comment portion of a city council meeting Monday night.
“What are you guys going to do about this?” another person asked.
Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella joined city councilors at Monday’s special meeting, asking to move money into a flood relief fund to pay for the emergency response.
While Mazzarella said he’s still waiting for the federal government to provide aid to homeowners and businesses, he said some work is already getting done.
“We’ve made incredible strides already,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of streets that were closed open. All the bridges are underway.”
As the recovery continues, those who have stores at the Tilton & Cook building on Spruce Street — which partially collapsed during last week’s flooding — said they are frustrated.
“It’s been awful,” said Mary Sirois. “We don’t have access to the building. I’ve lost my entire shop. I have no access to anything.”
Walter Ferreira said looters “are a major concern,” adding “There’s valuables in there.”
Speaking with 7NEWS, Mazzarella said his main priority is local homeowners.
“People’s water tanks are gone,” he said. “They’re boiler, their heating system needs to either be dried out or replaced.”
As the city continues to rebuild, many people are hoping financial relief comes sooner rather than later.
“It’s just unknown right now,” Ferreira said. “It’s like, how long and what are we going to have to do during the interim?”
City councilors voted Monday to delegate some money to the requested flood relief fund. The money, though, is nowhere near the $25-40 million officials estimate will be needed for Leominster’s recovery.
While officials wait for federal aid, local authorities have asked anyone with flood damage to file a claim as soon as possible.
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