The following is a Letter to the Editor from Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine.
Last Wednesday evening, as most of us were either heading home from work or preparing to sit down for dinner with our families, a powerful force of nature unexpectedly hit East Arlington and quickly caused a great deal of damage. Fortunately, this weather event known as a microburst did not seriously injure any residents or visitors of Arlington. However, it did cause trees to topple, limbs to break, wires to fall, and chimneys to collapse. In the aftermath of this event, a combination of Town and State resources were brought to bear in order to clear roadways, restore power, and begin the removal of debris left by the storm.
As I am writing this message, I am aware that all roadways have been cleared, all power has been restored, and all Town trees that have been reported to be leaning on private homes have been removed. However, there is still more work to do, and Town crews that have been working tirelessly will continue this work over the next several weeks. This work will include the removal of downed trees and limbs from Town parks and recreational areas, along with further debris and limb cleanup throughout the neighborhoods of East Arlington. Given the amount of work and cleanup that has already been completed, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all of those who have been part of the effort.
First, I would like to thank all of the Town departments and staff that have worked so diligently over the past several days. The emergency response led by the Fire and Police Departments and the immediate clean up response of the Department of Public Works was second to none. I was on scene in the immediate aftermath of the storm and was proud of the professionalism and dedication that was demonstrated by all of our Town employees.
I would also like to thank all Town residents for their patience and cooperation throughout the clean-up efforts. The residents of Arlington have demonstrated support and patience as the Town has worked to clean up the damage and for that I am very appreciative.
Next, I would like to thank all of the State officials that have been supportive and helpful through the process. Personnel from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Conservation and Recreation have all been part of both the immediate response and the subsequent clean-up efforts. I am very grateful for their support and assistance.
I am also very appreciative of the efforts put forth by NStar in response to this event. In the hours following the storm, NStar brought a number of resources into Arlington and demonstrated a great deal of effectiveness in restoring power to Arlington residents.
In regard to the cost of the damage and clean-up efforts caused by this storm, the Town has kept a careful accounting of all expenditures and will have a clear picture of the total costs this week. In order to defray these costs, State Senator Ken Donnelly, State Representative Sean Garballey and members of the Board of Selectmen have been working with legislative leadership and the Patrick Administration to advocate for the appropriation of state funding. We will also work with Congressman Ed Markey’s office to determine whether any federal assistance may also be available.
Overall, this storm and its impacts have demonstrated how strong and resilient the Arlington community is. We have been faced with adversity and we have met it head on with professionalism and care. As more information about the progress of clean-up efforts and progress of financial assistance becomes available we will communicate it to the residents of Arlington through Town of Arlington Notices, on the Town’s website, and through local media. Thank you again for your support and cooperation throughout this challenging time.
Adam W. Chapdelaine
Arlington Town Manager