Jay DPW Director Chris Garrow secures town generators to the back of a truck as he prepares to transport them to New York City to help with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Fourteen months ago, the North Country was attempting to recover from Tropical Storm Irene.
During that time, a lot of people from southern New York, including the New York City area, came to the North Country through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Labor for Your Neighbor Day and other initiatives to help start putting things back into place.
Now, the roles have reversed, and Jay Department of Public Works Superintendent Chris Garrow helped lead a Halloween treat of generators down to the New York City area.
“So many people helped us from that part of the state and we wanted them to know that we were here, we knew what they were going through and we were ready to help,” Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas said.
Overall, Jay, along with the town of Wilmington and Essex County Department of Public Works, sent down three truckloads of generators to the New York City area, according to Douglas.
“Two days ago, the commissioner assigned to our area from the state came into my office and said that he had been reassigned to the New York City area,” Douglas said. “We got to talking about the needs, especially for generators, and I said that I thought we could help.”
Douglas said that conversation was followed with a call from Cuomo’s office and then coordinating with county officials to determine how many generators they could send down.
“We looked at the inventory to see what we had from the town and the county and gathered everything together,” he said. “My guys were very happy to go and repay the favor.”
Douglas said Garrow related to him that the trip was eventful as the team tried their best to make it to its destination as roads were still closed in the metropolitan area.
“GPS directions don’t work very good when everything is closed,” Douglas said. “But they were able to make it where they needed to be and met with the National Guard to help them unload the generators. They got back to Jay around 3:30 a.m. this morning (Nov. 1).”
Douglas said that one generator did not make it all the way to New York City.
“At a rest area, Chris had stopped and they met a couple from downstate that had traveled all the way to Albany to try and find a generator for their home,” Douglas said. “They could not find one, so they were heading back home to do the best they could. Our guys unloaded one of the generators, took the serial number, and told them to call once they were done using it. The lady burst out into tears. They were very grateful. It was another chance we had to help people in their time of need.”