Springfield Spends $3 Million on Storm Recovery

The city of Springfield is still scrambling to get back to normalcy after the weekend snowstorm, with tree crews and health workers out in full force. Recovery cost estimates from City Hall have reached $3 million.

Sporting an uncharacteristic baseball cap and slight beard, Mayor Domenic Sarno said his neighborhood is among the 49% of Springfield still without power. He doesn't think Western Massachusetts Electric Company, or WMECO, responded quickly enough to warnings that a major storm was coming. The company was still waiting for crews to arrive from Missouri and Kansas.

"I don't believe the initial response was enough. I'm happy now that they've heard my message loud and clear and it seems like they're quadrupling the units that are coming here. I know firsthand I'm going through with my family. We have no heat, no electricity. I've urged them and you can see by the comments here today they're refocusing their attention on the city of Springfield."

Sarno spoke at the city's Emergency Management and Fire station. WMECO spokesman Edgar Alejandro says damage to the substations must be repaired before line work can begin.

"We're making significant progress, although it may not appear that way at times. The level of damage to our infrastructure, particularly at our substations, has been significant and requires a lot of time, effort and manpower before we can actually begin to move out into the city, particularly the side streets."
 
Alejandro says power will not be fully restored in the city until Friday or Saturday. In the meantime, The Red Cross has closed the shelter in Chicopee but the shelter at Springfield's Central High School remains open. Pets are not allowed in shelters but can find temporary housing at the Dakin Animal Shelter in Springfield.