SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The city of Springfield faces a heightened brush fire danger. Many of the trees torn down during the June 1, 2011 tornado are still there where they fell almost two years ago.
Springfield city engineer Chris Cignoli told 22News he's repeatedly tried to work something out with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help homeowners clear away tornado debris, but FEMA's rules preventing certain help for homeowners aren't exactly flexible.
"The regulations are written for the entire country. The City of Springfield is very very different from Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, so when we're dealing with a particular regulation, that says 'you can't do this, you can't do that,' we have to adapt it to Springfield and show the need," Cignoli said.
Cignoli says that the debris poses safety concerns not only for local residents, but emergency workers as well.
"We're concerned about fires, we're concerned about kids being in the woods. They are going to be injured. We can't get into those areas now because if you have this all over the place, you can't get fire personnel in there. You can't get rescue personnel," he added.
Carlos Resto lives near the Tornado debris. He told 22News that he hopes someone clears the property before there's a serious brush fire.
"It's a danger. If there's a fire, our homes are pretty close. Can effect any of these homes in this area," Resto said.
FEMA has reportedly spent more than $20 million to remove Springfield trees since the tornado. To get rid of what remains from the storm would cost an estimated $2-5 million.