Mansfield firefighters set the flags in West a week after the explosion. (Photo by John Carroll)
WEST (April 17, 2013)—As West continued to mourn its dead and clean up in the aftermath of the deadly and destructive April 17 fertilizer plant explosion, the town’s mayor, Tommy Muska sought to reassure residents Wednesday in a posting on the city’s website and Facebook page.
“This town will not die on my watch, that is my promise to you,” Muska vowed in his April Minute.
“I know you have heard me say over and over that it will be OK,” he wrote.
“I say that with all my heart and soul…knowing full well the great citizens of West have the resilience, dedication, love for each other and faith in the almighty God that makes us so unique and special. We will be OK… we will rebuild this town… we will be better and stronger because of it.”
Also Wednesday the federal emergency declaration issued after the explosion was expanded to allow affected individuals and families to apply for assistance grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
President Barack Obama’s expansion of the declaration makes assistance available to help individuals and families pay for temporary housing; medical, dental and funeral expenses; personal property, and transportation.
Residents who suffered losses can apply for assistance online or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY).
Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services can call 1-800-621-3362.
A boil order issued after the explosion was partially lifted Wednesday.
The order is no longer in effect for areas of the town from Spring Street south.
“If water is murky/dirty please flush your lines for a few minutes until water clears,” the city advised in a website posting Wednesday.
And in another sign that things are slowly returning to normal, scheduled trash collection resumed Wednesday in two of the three areas affected by the explosion.