Municipal leaders will meet this week in Greenfield, Massachusetts, with state environmental officials. The state is holding meetings to help cities and towns prepare for the impact of severe weather.
“We are concerned with the more extreme weather events that are taxing our infrastructure, in particular more flooding events, since we are in the Deerfield River watershed,” said Carole Collins, Greenfield's director of energy and sustainability. “There have been, like with Hurricane Irene, some devastating negative impacts.”
The meeting is part of a grant program called the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program. It's aimed at Bay State cities and towns and regions to help them be ready for weather-related problems and climate change.
Now in year two, the program is ten times bigger than it was last year, said Katie Theoharides of the state's Energy and Environmental Affairs department.
“We know in western Mass. there’s certainly a lot of fresh water flooding issues,” Theoharides said. “But we’re also seeing challenges like heat, and increased disease incidents.”
The meeting is slated for 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, at the JW Olver Transit Center in Greenfield. A similar info session is planned on Cape Cod later this week.