The State Street sinkhole was uncovered so Healey could see the damage.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — During Governor Maura Healey's visit Wednesday, Mayor Jennifer Macksey had one immediate plea.
"Governor, we just need help," Macksey said at a gathering on State Street over a massive sinkhole. "We need help from the state and federal not only to rebuild what you see today but also to work on long-term fixes throughout the community."
Berkshire County was hit with severe rains Monday that led to flooding in many communities. Although some communities waded through the storm mostly unharmed, North Adams and Clarksburg saw substantial damage to roads and infrastructure.
Macksey estimates that the city is looking at nearly $2 million in damages and between 15 to 20 streets have been impacted.
Healey, who was on scene with acting Director of Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Dawn Brantley and other officials, said it was important for her to see that damage with her own eyes.
"As the governor, I think it is important for me to be here… to see what is actually happening, to take that back and make sure we are having those conversations, and understand firsthand what the damage has been," she said. "Then we can take the steps necessary to address it."
She also noted that state emergency employees have been in the city since Monday accessing the damage that Macksey said is changing every day.
"We are still discovering areas and culverts that have failed us throughout the community," Macksey said. "That assessment is ongoing every day."
Specifically pointing to the sinkhole on State Street that reduced traffic to one lane Monday, Macksey said a main throughway in and out of the city was compromised, She did say the city hopes to make a temporary repair soon.
Healey said the sinkhole and other washouts are emblematic of issues facing the state. For many communities, like North Adams, the aging infrastructure simply cannot handle the increased water from changing weather patterns.
"When you have aging infrastructure and you have an incident it really compounds things," Healey said. " And so we need to find a way to work together to get the relief."
Macksey agreed and said the city probably needs five new stormwater systems as well as to address the older systems that are failing.
Healey could not speak specifically to relief but said she first needed to see a complete assessment of the damage.
"We are going to see what the assessment is, and I am not going to make any calls or judgments," she said. "We want to see the numbers, and we want to understand the devastation, and what we need to do…to make sure we meet the moment. But right now we are at that initial stage of getting our arms around that."
And she was sympathetic to smaller communities like North Adams which do not always have the staff, resources, or funds to properly address developing environmental emergency situations.
"As a kid who grew up in a small town of 1500 so I am very sensitive to that," she said.
She said this is why she has appointed a Director of Rural Affairs as well as a Climate Cheif to work hand in hand with her administration and rural communities who face different challenges than more urban parts of the state.
"We have to deal with the immediate, the now. How do we help our families and communities and how do we plan for what we need to plan for," she said. "This was severe. It came on quickly…and unfortunately, I think we know we are going to see more and more severe weather instances. So I think we have to really prioritized that work."
Before venturing over to survey a damaged property on Church Street, Macksey asked that any resident with water in their basement contact the city. She said not only can the city offer assistance, but it is important to know where new problem areas are arising.
"If you see something say something. Do not hesitate," she said. "We are seeing water issues where we have never seen them before and we need to know."
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MCLA Hosts Tour, Information Session for College of Saint Rose Students
NORTH ADAMS, Mass.—MCLA offers support and encouragement to The College of Saint Rose students, family, and community.
"We are saddened by the news of Saint Rose's closure and offer support and care for their students as they navigate their next steps," said MCLA President James F. Birge.
The college announced on Friday, Dec. 24 it will close after the Spring 2024 semester.
For students who may have questions about their educational options, MCLA will host a Tour and Information Session on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 11 a.m. Those that can't attend this date and time can email email@example.com to schedule another time to visit.
"As the official teach out partner for the closure of Southern Vermont College, MCLA has a successful track record, and is committed to providing Saint Rose students with a pathway to ensure equitable and optimal transfer of credits to MCLA," said Birge.
MCLA will provide an expedited transfer process, providing an admission decision within 48-72 hours of receiving a completed online application and all necessary supporting documents. MCLA will accept all currently matriculated students who are in good academic and judicial standing at The College of Saint Rose.
Reduced tuition rates and campus housing will be offered to Saint Rose students. Register for the tour and information session and learn more about our supportive community and the seamless transfer process to MCLA.