Springfield Gets $25 Million In Tornado Related Aid

Springfield has received a settlement of $25 million in federal disaster aid for damages caused by a tornado that struck the city in 2011.

Mayor Domenic Sarno and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal announced Monday the money would help pay for several civic improvement projects, including a new senior center.

The announcement came after two years of negotiations with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which initially offered the city $4.2 million for damages associated with the June 1, 2011 tornado.

A series of tornadoes that touched down in Hampden County killed three people, and destroyed or damaged 1,400 houses and nearly 80 businesses.

The money will also be used for a new South End Community Center and the renovation and expansion of the Clifford Phaneuf environmental science center at Forest Park.

"This not only reinvigorates the areas that were affected," Sarno said, "but starts the continued transformation of the city of Springfield, highlighting our positives and tackling our urban challenges."

With additional reporting by the WBUR Newsroom

This article was originally published on January 13, 2014.


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