20 Aug 2014
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Town Officials Assess Storm Damage, Cleanup

Easton Fire Chief Kevin Partridge briefed selectmen on storm response Monday night.

Town Officials Assess Storm Damage, Cleanup

With the Blizzard of 2013 in the rear view, Easton Fire Chief Kevin Partridge, who heads Easton's Emergency Response Team, appeared before Selectmen Monday night to brief town officials on the damage and response.

According to Partridge, 40 trees were down throughout the storm, and at the storm's peak, 19 percent of the town, or 1700 National Grid customers, were without power.

Overall, Partridge estimated that approximately $197,000 was spent during the storm - most of which could be attributed to the Department of Public Works' response.

Overall, the chief expressed satisfaction.

"I’m very happy to report that all the town departments did an excellent response to Blizzard Nemo," he told Selectmen.

By Monday night, the town had power restored and "pretty much all the roads in town [were] clear and down to bare pavement," he said.

He said that throughout the blizzard, DPW employees worked for 32 hours straight.

"They did a tremendous job keeping the roads open," Partridge said of the DPW. "None of the roads were closed during the blizzard...Some roads were hit 30 – 50 times during the storm."

Partridge also commended the townspeoples' and town employees' response to the storm, particularly those who helped open and manage a warming shelter.

According to Partridge, 11 residents used the shelter during the storm.

"There were no injuries – no sign damage, no town property damage that has been reported at this point," he said.

Members of the Board of Selectmen commended the Emergency Management Team's response to the storm.

"I’d like to thank all the employees who worked so hard," Board of Selectmen Chair Colleen Corona said. "I want the community to understand that everyone worked as hard as we could."

Partridge said that although the storm cost the town nearly $200,000, they will likely be reimbursed for most of it.

"It will most likely be declared a disaster," he said. "Bristol County does need to reach the threshold for damages, and if so we will be reimbursed for 75 percent."

Just in case, Selectmen voted to authorize overspending the town's snow and ice budget by $200,000. The budget is the only line item in the town's overall budget that can be increased throughout the year.

In the mean-time, Partridge said the Emergency Management Team will continue post-storm cleanup and re-convene to assess the response.

"The chief will be convening another meeting in a couple of weeks to sort of have a postmortem on this storm," Town Administrator David Colton said.

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