Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good bye, Irene

don't let the glass hit your ..............

All in all, my little town fared very well, considering how bad it could have been.  I had some difficulty getting to the EOC last night as streets were flooded; but I got there.

As I was sitting down for my shift behind the radios, other CERT members were being called in, to go to the high water areas in town.  They were going to go door to door, banging on doors and telling folks that this was it, their last chance to be taken to a shelter. 

Most people stayed, desiring to take their chances and stay with their houses.  My friend Tim AB2ZK commented to me how much fun it was, slogging through waist high rain water.  Our mayor was with us most of the night and even he went slogging through the water, with CERT members, checking on fellow citizens.

We had numerous trees and wires down.  At 3:45 in the morning, Public Service Electric and Gas must have gotten enough calls to feel that there was a safety issue; and they shut down the grid in our area.  I am typing this as the power just came back on some 11 hours later.

We got numerous calls about flooded basements; but the ones we directed the Fire Department to were the ones where water was coming close to approaching electrical outlets; or a few cases where water WAS coming out of electrical outlets.

I really have to hand it to our Director of Emergency Management, Mike Zushma.  His job as Director is now part time, due to budget constraints.  But he does a full time job, regardless of that fact.  CERT was called out and on hand, manning the radios and phones.  All the proper personnel were at the EOC.  He even managed to come up with some reserve sump pumps for the elderly that really, really needed them.  He made sure the EMS trucks got moved when the access road to the Rescue Squad building started going under water.  Working with the Road Department, he even had some temporary stop signs placed at intersections where the stop lights went out due to the loss of power.

A good job was done by paid staff and volunteers.  Makes me proud to able to work with such high caliber people, who are after all, my neighbors.  If there was one overwhelming thing I came away with last night was the sense that everyone realized that we were all in this together and that we worked very well together, as a team.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Good evening Larry, just want to start out by saying it's great you and your family are well. One thing this blogging has shown me is that it makes the world a very much smaller place. I hope the mayor see's the part that ham radio played in the whole situation? Sounds like you were kept very busy. It's unfortunate Larry up this way ham radio is not seen as an asset when it comes to major events. We have been fortunate over the years not having any major events. But as Bob Dillon said "the times are a change n" We are now seeing more tornado's and even earth quakes in our own town. I don't want it to take a major event up this way to prove ham radio is needed. It's great you have a firm ground with ham radio being a part of disaster response. I know I don't live in your area or the States for that matter but I do want to say thank you Larry for your volunteer work this past weekend.

  2. The mayor VERY much see's Ham Radio's part in Public Service. His Dad is John AB2VE who is an active CERT/RACES member in town!

  3. Having a ham in the family is a bonus for sure. Our mayor has a son maybe we can get him interested in radio.