Chief Joseph O’Connor
219 Walden Street
P.O. Box 519
Concord, MA 01742
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Concord Police Department Provides Update on Tornado Recovery, Urges Residents with Damage to Use Only Licensed, Legitimate Contractors
CONCORD — Police Chief Joseph O’Connor reports that the Town of Concord continues to clean up following the tornado that hit the community yesterday.
The National Weather Service confirmed that an EF-1 tornado, stretching a half mile long and 400 yards wide, touched down during Monday’s 3 a.m. storm. Winds reached a maximum speed of 100 mph, damaging 39 homes, knocking down power lines and several trees. Only one home sustained severe structural damage, but more than 1,000 homes were left without power on Monday.
Chief O’Connor strongly urges residents to use only legitimate, state-licensed contractors for home repair work.
Concord Police officers have observed people approaching the affected area who have claimed to be contractors. Through conversations, they were able to determine that these individuals were not legitimate contractors. This is a very common occurrence after a major weather event or disaster.
If using a contractor for home repairs, Concord Police advise residents to follow several safety tips outlined by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), which reports that scam artists may pose as government officials, aid workers, or employees from charitable organizations or insurance companies in order to get your personal information or take your money.
- Ask for identification. A logo on a shirt or jacket is not proof of someone’s affiliation. Government employees and employees of legitimate disaster relief organizations, utility companies, and insurance companies will carry photo identification. Report anyone claiming to be a government worker to local police.
- Beware of people going door-to-door or cold-calling you. If visitors or callers ask for personal information such as social security or bank account numbers, they may be con artists.
- Do not give personal information to people who claim to be government employees.
- Never provide personal information on the phone if you didn’t initiate the call.
“We know this is a difficult time for those who have been affected by the tornado,” Chief O’Connor said. “However, we ask that community members who will be making repairs to their home or property proceed with caution to ensure that they are working with legitimate contractors and do not become victims of a scam.”
Chief O’Connor would like to sincerely thank all agencies who provided assistance during and after the storm. This includes the entire Concord Fire Department, as all off duty firefighters were called in to help, the Bedford, Lincoln and Maynard fire departments for on-scene aid, the Acton and Bedford fire departments for station coverage, MEMA, the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, Fire District 14, which provided a communication unit, the Massachusetts State Police — troopers from the Concord barracks and Airwing Section — and the Box 4 Special Services Canteen. The town also received assistance from the Wakefield, Reading, Middleton, and Groton municipal electric companies, along with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the park rangers from the National Park Service.