North Adams Transcript
WILLIAMSTOWN - The town's building commissioner has deemed all homes in The Spruces Mobile Home Park uninhabitable in the wake of flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene on Sunday.
Building Commissioner Michael J. Card said Monday all of the homes in the park have been determined to be "functionally unoccupiable" until further notice, which means people can't live in them, he said.
He said the water that came into the park during the storm was deep enough to seep into electrical boxes of homes, and in some cases, pulled the boxes away from the boards where they were attached.
In addition, the water bent - and pulled off - gas lines from under homes, he said.
"We're not in a position to turn the electricity and gas back on. We need plumbers and electricians to come in and fix the problems," he said. "The majority of homes have numerous things wrong with them."
In many cases, water was above the first floor of a home, which means the state sanitary code would also have to be looked at, he said.
"We're still trying to figure this out," he said.
Residents of the park were allowed to return to their homes throughout the day on Monday to retrieve personal items, medications, clothing and pets. Police officers, town officials, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and management of The Spruces were on hand to escort residents in and out of the park.
The Berkshire County Chapter of the Red Cross has mobilized a shelter team to bring cots, blankets, food, water and other supplies to Williamstown, and town officials are working to find places to stay for residents with no friends or family in the area.
Officials with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency were in town earlier in the afternoon to assess the damage.
Kimberly Purcelli, regional director for Morgan Management, said residents will be contacted once park management knows what the next steps are. In order for residents to be contacted, they're being asked to call 413-458-8104, which will connect them directly to Wheel Estates in North Adams, she said.
A person at that office will take their name, address at The Spruces and contact information - such as a cell phone number or phone number of where they are staying, she said.
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