To the Valley News:
On Monday volunteers from our Fire Department and Emergency Squad, along with workers from Highway Departments, the Hospital, School, Horace Nye Home, Police and Sheriff’s Department were preparing to protect us from the storm. I met them at briefings at the Public Safety building in Lewis, and in our Town Hall.
When I asked for help, Essex County Public Safety provided us with two generators for our school (the emergency shelter) in case the power went out. Deputy Fire Chief Jack Hanby, Senior Housing Director Marcella Denton and I planned how to take care of our senior citizens, especially those with medical needs. The Fire Department offered cots, and school staff would keep the generators going.
Patty Doyle called with an offer of help from the Fire auxiliary. I learned that the only powered, and equipped Emergency Shelter near us is in the Town of Jay (Ausable Forks.) Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas offered to shelter any E-town residents if we needed help. I called the folks whose homes had flooded last year and they all had made evacuation plans. Our Highway workers staged 200 sand bags for residents who would need them.
Monday evening I toured E-town and the only street traffic I saw were 6 deer crossing the road. We are very fortunate that Hurricane Sandy bypassed us, but TV coverage of the flooding in New York City brought back memories of last year. This year we had time to prepare. But when the sun is shinning it’s easy to forget how fast the rivers can rise.
Working together is the only way we can take care of our Town, our families and ourselves. The morning after Hurricane Sandy, I spoke with our School superintendent and Deputy Fire Chief. We began planning for the next disaster, which will come. We will all be safer when we work together. I want to thank all those dedicated hardworking people in our community who are there for us when we need them.
Margaret Bartley, Supervisor