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Leominster awaits approval as federal disaster area after flooding

Leominster awaits federal funding after devastating floods
Leominster awaits federal funding after devastating floods 02:31

LEOMINSTER - It's been one week since Catherine Stevens said her doorbell rang after she had already gone to sleep. There were about a dozen firefighters on the other side of the door asking her to get dressed and grab a raincoat. The 91-year-old's house was flooding. 

"I went out piggyback on this fireman who was very big and strong, and he said he won't drop me," said Stevens. "And the other guy stayed behind me in case he did." 

Stevens' basement got about eight inches of water, and everything out there has been filtered through one by one. Her son, Bob Allen, drove up from Georgia last week to help clean out the basement. 

Stevens is just one of roughly 500 applicants the city said it received from homeowners with flood damage

In a city council meeting Monday, Mayor Dean Mazzarella moved to free up half a million dollars to kick start funding the recovery efforts. Just last week, Mayor Mazzarella said damage in the city could reach $40 million

Leominster has yet to be approved as a federal disaster area. Mazzarella said he is eagerly awaiting the designation as it would create potential avenues of additional funding. 

"These are tough times and as time goes on, patience sort of, it's tough," Mazzarella said. 

In the meantime, those applications from home and business owners continue to pour in.

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