Earlier today, Westfield Police Chief Battiloro and I met with FEMA representatives, along with County and State emergency management officials at the Westlake School on Lamberts Mill Road, which suffered catastrophic flooding damage from Tropical Storm Ida. The water got so high that our first responders rescued three of their custodians from the rooftop in the height of the storm.
The Westlake School is a public school specializing in serving classified students from ages 7 to 21 who have multiple disabilities, and was scheduled to open tomorrow. We are working with their superintendent to identify possibilities for relocating their students while the school undergoes extensive repairs.
The visit by FEMA was part of the assessment to determine if Union County meets the FEMA declaration criteria, which we should know in the next day or so. Considering the estimated $3MM+ damage to the Westlake School alone, I am hopeful that it will be announced soon.
We also visited the Conservation Center, where stranded cars are currently being towed. If you’re looking for your abandoned vehicle, it is most likely there. The police will continue to attempt to contact the owners to obtain title information.
We then went to check on a beloved WHS teacher and resident on Prospect Street, whose flooding damage was some of the worst I’ve seen, happening while they were away which made matters worse. Once again, the neighbors lent a helping hand and were busy hauling items to the curb.
As a reminder, take pictures of any and all damage you incurred and save every receipt. Please upload your damage information to this form
so we can aggregate it for the state.
I’ll provide FEMA and other relevant information as it becomes available.-- Mayor Shelley Brindle