Everett Settled in to Wait out Sandy: City Hall Offices Closed, Emergency Services Busy During Height of Storm

October 31, 2012
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Hurricane Sandy did not do a lot of damage in Everett, but the lower end of Spring Street did have some problems with flooding.

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria gave the order to close city hall on Sunday evening, following the state’s lead and telling so-called, “non-essential government workers,” to stay home from the storm.

However, there was plenty of work to keep city public safety and emergency workers busy on Monday and into Tuesday.

According to Fire Chief David Butler, through most of the day on Monday, city emergency workers –firefighters, police and city services crews – were preparing for emergency flooding and high wind conditions and responding to reports of downed tree limbs and power outages.

As of 5 p.m. on Monday, there had already been several small power outages and dozens of calls for fallen trees, branches and power lines, but nothing that had placed any lives in jeopardy.

“We’ve probably had at least 40 calls for down trees and power outages, but we haven’t had any flooding or any other serious issues arise yet,” said Butler at 5 p.m. on Monday.

With Hurricane sandy set to go ashore off the coast of New Jersey at 5:30 p.m., many public safety personnel felt that the worst of the storm had already passed by 5pm on Monday.

“We never did open a shelter, because there really wasn’t any need to,” said Butler. “We pre-positioned resources at the Senior Center and opened the doors there in case anyone felt they needed someplace to go, but we never wound up opening the shelter.”

The city did open an Emergency Operation Center to coordinate storm response among city agencies at noon on Monday, and Butler said that response to the issues raised by the storm was going smoothly at that time.

“Really haven’t had any reports of any flooding or drainage problems,” said Butler. “There have been a few clogged storm drains and things like that but the city services department has been out staying on top of that issue, so we haven’t had any problems.”

One major concern for the city last week was the continuing drainage problems that had been created by a collapsed culvert in the Produce Center area at the Boston Market Terminal.

However, Assistant City Solicitor David Rodrigues said on Monday that emergency repairs to the culvert were made over the weekend and the culvert was once again flowing before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, so impacts from the culvert had been minimized.

“I haven’t heard of any complaints of flooding in that area,” said Butler.