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Emergency Workers Protect Town During Hurricane Sandy

One Patch writer saw first hand just how dangerous conditions were when Hurricane Sandy blew into town.

Sandy has come and gone and, while New England was spared much of the catastrophic damage that New Jersey and New York experienced, that doesn’t mean that we didn’t have our share of drama.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was pretty nonchalant about the storm. I grabbed some batteries, put gas in my car and assumed that the whole event would simply blow over. What I didn’t expect, however, was that two very tall pine trees would actually end up being what blew over.

A lot of large trees in town came crashing down and a lot of households, like mine, were left with a very dangerous situation on their hands. There’s nothing comforting about falling trees and downed electric wires and, frankly, it’s the individuals who respond to the emergences that make all the difference in the world.

My first call to 911 came early in the afternoon. As luck would have it our first tree came crashing down, blocking the entire street, tearing down wires and scaring us half to death very early on in the storm.

The response was almost immediate and, before we had time to think about the disaster we had on our hands, a street full of help arrived. Police officers, DPW workers, town employees were all here to save the day. I honestly can’t say enough good things about how professional and kind each and every person at the scene was.

Unfortunately it wasn’t that long before we had another mess on our hands. A second tree came down, once again rendering the street impassible. This one, however, came to rest just above the power lines balanced atop the oak tree it split in two.

Quite honestly it was one of the one of the most frightening sights I had ever seen. Once again the response was incredibly fast and the safety of everyone on the street was quite clearly the number one priority. They remained here at the scene working until it was simply too dark and too dangerous to continue on.

The area was secured and we were reassured that everyone would be back in the morning.

True to their word, the crew reappeared early the next day and got down to the business of making our street passable once again. No small task to say the least.

They spent several hours here working and, throughout the day, were as professional, kind and helpful as they were the first moment they arrived. Each and every one of them knew that had another long day ahead of them but also knew that they had a neighborhood of pretty shaken up residents to deal with.

By all accounts the crew that responded to our emergencies did everything right. Their kindness and their concern went a long way towards making a tough situation a whole lot easier. Without a doubt it is sometimes easy to take our town workers for granted but I can say, in all honestly, that I will never make that mistake again.

In total, RMLD Public Relations Manager Priscilla Gottwald said more than 1,000 Wilmington residents lost power during the storm. 

"Many of our staff sleep and eat at RMLD for the duration of the storm, relieving each other for a couple of hours sleep," said Gottwald. "This team effort and support makes us succeed in every storm situation – there are no slackers at RMLD."

All of us here in town owe our gratitude to the people that keep us safe and help keep our town running each and every day, not just in an emergency.

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