Disaster Officials Tour Mass. As State Continues Storm Cleanup

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Federal disaster officials were touring parts of Massachusetts Wednesday to assess damage from torrential rains and winds last weekend.

Gov. Deval Patrick said the visit by representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration is part of the state's effort to make its case for federal disaster assistance.

The governor also is  asking residents who have suffered storm-related losses to document the damage.

"Make photographs, or a videotape," Patrick said. "Make a claim to your insurance company in the first instance, and then for any uninsured claims, coordinate with your local emergency management officials so we can gather that information, aggregate it, and make it a part of our case."

Patrick says he has contacted Sens. John Kerry and Scott Brown, who have promised to help with the state's case for federal assistance.

Though federal officials surveyed damage Wednesday, the governor credits state and local emergency agencies with keeping the storm's human toll low.

"No one was hurt, or hurt seriously in this, which is a wonderful thing and a minor miracle, considering the force and flow of some of the water," Patrick said.

The storm caused serious flooding in parts of the state and hampered transportation routes, including a washed-out subway track bed along the Green Line’s D branch in Newton that has suspended service.

Joe Pesaturo, of the MBTA, says crews have already pumped the flood water out of the 60-foot-wide hole under the track and are bringing in material to fill the hole.

"The work crews will stay on the site 24-7 to get this job done as soon as possible," Pesaturo said. "Everyone is working toward the goal of having full D branch Green Line service restored in time for the Monday morning commute."

Pesaturo says the most important work is installing a 250-foot drain pipe alongside the track that would prevent flood water from destroying the track bed again.

While service is suspended, the MBTA is busing passengers between the Newton Highlands and Resevoir stations.

Patrick says homeowners with questions about storm assistance should call the state's hot-line, 211.

WBUR's Steve Brown contributed from the State House.

This program aired on March 17, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.