It’s unclear whether or not Hurricane Sandy will leave a major mark on New England early next week. But either way, Wilmington’s Department of Public Works will be ready.
Assistant DPW Superintendent Jamie Magaldi said the town is closely monitoring a variety of different forecasting tools. As of Friday, it appears the storm could reach land in Washington, D.C., which Magaldi said would be a good thing for Wilmington residents.
“If that were the case, we would just be dealing with strong winds and moderately heavy rainfall, which is better than six or seven inches of rain,” said Magaldi. “We’ll know more tomorrow and Sunday if that is indeed what it looks like is going to happen.”
In the meantime, DPW workers are still preparing for the worst, just to be safe. Late in the week, workers have been running street sweepers in order to clear leaves out of catch basins.
The difficult thing, however, is that within a day those catch basins can be clogged again with new leaves falling, so Magaldi asked residents to keep an eye on their neighborhood drains.
DPW workers have also been preparing their chainsaws and getting trucks fueled up in order to avoid equipment failures.
“Our staff here is made up of seasoned employees, so they’ve gone through this before,” said Magaldi. “It seems like the track of the storm is moving a little south for landfall. It would be to Wilmington’s benefit the further south it hits, because we’ll be better off that way. As long as those models remain true, that’s a best case scenario.”
Though Wilmington was hit with Tropical Storm Irene and a freak Halloween snowstorm last year, Magaldi said there wasn’t anything the town necessarily took our of those storms that will help them prepare for this week’s weather.
“Every storm is different, and that’s the biggest thing to keep in mind,” said Magaldi. “No matter how many storms you get, you have to be able to roll with the punches. You just take each one, and there’s only so much you can do to prepare.”