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The Fire Department rescued four people and one cat from the Spruces Mobile Home park.

Four Rescued By Boat From Spruces

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Water was nearly five feet deep in the park.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Four people and one cat were rescued by boat from the Spruces Mobile Home park after the Hoosic River overflowed.

According to Fire Chief Craig Pedercini, the park was flooded with as high as 4 or 5 feet of water. A bus was brought in to evacuate the residents earlier this morning but some refused to leave. After the river overflowed, rescue workers used the boat to save the few that were remaining.

"As far as I know everybody is out of there," Pedercini said. "People changed their minds since the river crested over on the east side."

Even still, a couple residents initially refused to leave but Pedercini said emergency personnel was "persistent" and able to convince them to leave on the boat. The power and gas was cut from the park. At about 5:30 p.m. fire officials left the scene.

Residents were urged to evacuate prior to the onset of Hurricane Irene but many remained. Park manager Kimberly Purcelli said the residents were given yellow pieces of papers to hang in their windows to signify that they had left the home. However, some had hung the sign and stayed which made it difficult to know who had actually left.

"We pleaded with them to leave," Purcelli said, adding that the park managers and some park residents had knocked on everybody's door and asked residents to leave.

At about 5 p.m. Purcelli said the damage to the park is significant. People are being turned away from entering the park until at least Tuesday, Purcelli said.

The Williamstown Elementary School was opened as a shelter but some people went to the homes of friends or family.

Purcelli said a stop sign was completely underwater and Pedercini said 8 inches of water have been reported in the homes.

Despite the few that needed to be rescued by boat, Purcelli sang high praise for the residents' response to the storm.

Tags: flood,   Irene,   Spruces,   

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Williamstown Fin Comm Echoes Select Board, Advises Mount Greylock Committee

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Finance Committee last week followed suit with the Select Board in advising the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee to hold onto a reserve.
Some members of the Fin Comm wanted to go a little further than that.
In the end, the panel voted without dissent at Wednesday's virtual meeting to endorse a non-binding resolution passed 24 hours earlier by the Select Board and to task Chairman Stephen Sheppard and one or two other committee members to draft a letter to the school district.
The Fin Comm has set a special meeting for Wednesday evening to review that letter; the School Committee has a meeting set for Thursday afternoon.
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