Town flood control and relief efforts show great results
last year's excellent performance
April 20, 2007
Last May, Goffstown suffered some of the worst effects from the Mother's Day floods that hit the
area. Amidst the chaos that ensued, town departments, officials
and employees did an outstanding job addressing the situation.
This year, we expected the same from them in dealing with Monday's nor'easter.
But we didn't get it.
Instead, what we got was much more.
Town Departments Step Up
During this week's flood control and relief efforts, every Town
department involved in dealing with the storm not only did an
incredible job, but every one of them outshined their own
excellent performances during last year's Mother Day flood.
The Police Department was out in force, especially in the Lynchville and
Danis Parks areas, helping residents evacuate from that still-recovering
Firefighters worked diligently with rescue efforts, flood control and pumping water,
all while handling numerous medical calls. During the crisis, Lt. Bill
Connor volunteered his time to inspect 63
homes - on his day off.
Over at Public Works, dealing
with the storm without vacationing department head Carl Quiram's hand on
the tiller, the crews were
nevertheless a step ahead this year with patching, filling, drainage and
flood control work. Under guidance from Mike Hillhouse and Mike
Sullivan in Quiram's absence, roads were closed with barricades in place well before
they became a serious threat, and crews worked expertly and efficiently
throughout the night making repairs to insure those roads could be safely
traveled as quickly as possible.
Recently, the new Board of Selectmen has made an issue of utilizing the
town's website more efficiently as a tool for keeping the public better
informed. Town Hall apparently understood the importance of that too, making vast improvements over last year by continually
updating the town website throughout Monday and subsequent days with
public safety information on everything from school and road closures,
police informational updates and emergency relief information, as well
as assisting in the quick establishment of an evacuation center at Bartlett
Elementary school. And much of this was done after Town
Hall had closed.
During the course of the storm, selectmen were out on the roads
assessing problems the town was facing and planning on how to address
them quickly: Lt. Bill Conner of the fire department escorted selectman Vivian
Blondeau around town; board chairman John Caprio rode with Mike
quickly arranged for dumpsters and port-a-potties to be delivered to
affected areas no later than today, immediately waived fees for
disposal of flood related debris at the Transfer Station, and also
waived fees for building permits for flood-damaged homes.
And although Town Hall was closed Monday, selectmen
stayed the course and moved their scheduled meeting over to the Police
Department building. In keeping with the new board's effort to improve
communication with the public, they also held a special meeting with
department heads last night (see
related article) to access the current situation and began
establishing plans for dealing with the flood quickly and efficiently.
Another meeting is scheduled for Saturday at 1:00PM at the
Craig Heiber Auditorium at Goffstown High School for all members of the
community who have been impacted by the flood.
Residents and Citizen Groups Contribute
In addition to town departments, local residents, citizen and volunteer groups
contributed to relief efforts as well.
All day Monday, citizen-responders from the Goffstown Community
Emergency Response Team (CERT) were out in force collecting information
for town officials and assisting with evacuations.
sites such as our own GoffstownResidentsAssociation.com,
provided hourly updates to the community, drawing from numerous
town and media outlets.
St. Anselm College students volunteered their time to assist at the
temporary evacuation shelter established at Bartlett Elementary School.
Crispin's House of Goffstown provided a detailed information
listing of recovery information that was - and remains -
vital in assisting those who have suffered losses this week.
And in one instance, when an outboard motor on a fire department boat
failed as debris clogged water intake inlets, a local resident readily
provided the department with his own outboard motor so as to assist
department efforts during the storm.
Many Thanks to All
The GRA would
like to thank all town officials and employees, citizen and
volunteer groups, community organizations and those many
residents who stepped up to assist town officials and their neighbors in need during this
week's storm for your contributions and great efforts. Even after your tremendous
response to last year's flood, you all somehow managed to take it up
Nice job, folks.