Hurricane Sandy whipped through our area with high winds and heavy rains and left behind a trail of power outages, uprooted trees, road closures, damaged roofs and property and so much more.
But despite Sandy's devastation and upheaval, it was the people of our town that kept us from being "powerless" throughout Sandy's reign.
Media Patch wanted to take a minute to thank those who helped before, during and continue to help after Superstorm Sandy swept through the greater Media area.
Police, Fire, Emergency Crews
The public was told to stay inside during the storm but the police, fire and emergency crews are the ones who have to go out into the cold and wet conditions, not just during a storm, but every day, to keep us safe. Police were seen patrolling areas throughout the storm and blocking roadways when trees and wires came down. Fire crews were ready to make rescues by land or water and extinguished fires, despite the conditions. EMS personnel transported many to hospitals following car crashes and other injuries. These men and women are on our front lines during an event like Sandy and the public owes them a huge thank you for just doing their everyday job. If it weren't for this group of people, Sandy could have been so much worse for our local area.
Public Works, Utility Companies
Once the trees and wires were down and many sat in the dark or trapped, it was time for the second most important group of people to come to our rescue. The public works and utility companies may have a thankless role since patience is a hard virtue to come by for some. After a storm, people want normalcy back and the comforts they are used to. So when power or cable or Internet is taken away from them, they want answers, now! In the wake of Sandy's destruction, trees were removed from wires and houses and roads quickly and efficiently. PECO crews came out in force and worked as quickly as possible to restore power to the millions left powerless after Sandy. Coming from someone who is not known to have patience, I applaud PECO and the public works departments for a job, very well done.
Township, County Administrations
County and township officials did an excellent job preparing the public for the storm and keeping the public informed during and after Sandy. By communicating with the public through recorded phone messages, emails alerts and with the press, it keeps everyone feeling informed and safe. We reporters have a common bond with township and county officials when it comes to getting important information out to the public. And they make our job so much easier when the information just appears, without prompting, and we can spread the word. During large weather events like Sandy, it's our jobs to tell the public what's happening. So to have officials drop those updates, warnings and important messages at our virtual door steps, makes a reporter's job a hundred times easier and even more importantly, gets the information out to the public even faster. So a personal thank you to all township and county officials for providing us with constant updates throughout the storm and after.
Delaware County SPCA
The Delco SPCA took action quickly once word of Sandy's pending arrival was announced. Many may not be aware that all those animals awaiting forever homes need safe shelter too during a storm. So the SPCA asked for volunteers and temporary homes for the animals and the help arrived, in a big way. Between Friday and Sunday before the storm, the SPCA performed 35 adoptions and placed 85 animals in to temporary foster homes in preparation for the storm, according to the Delco SPCA's Director of Community Relations Justina Caligano. During the storm, a team of five people stayed overnight at the shelter to ease the anxiety of the animals still there and be on-hand in the event of any urgent situations, according to Caligano. The shelter suffered minimal damage but is asking for donations of Home Depot gift cards to buy supplies needed for the clean-up effort.
"The Delaware County SPCA would like to send out a very big 'thank you' to all who ensured the safety of the animals at the Delaware County SPCA by adopting, fostering and donating supplies," Caligano said.
Wawa is a lifesaver to all of the above personnel and workers. Coffee, hot food, water, bathroom breaks, gas, all help the police, fire, EMS workers, township officials, public works, utility workers, and the press, to do their jobs. I'm sure many Wawa workers would have preferred to stay home with their families or keep an eye on their homes during the storm, but instead, they were serving us, they were helping us to better to our jobs. I stopped at a Wawa numerous times during my storm coverage and I couldn't have been happier to see that goose, bright and glowing, through the dark and rainy skies, each time. And I made sure to thank them for being open each time I passed through.
Wawa officials posted this 'thank you' to its employees on its Facebook page, "We couldn't be prouder of our Wawa team, who helped our communities weather the storm with so much passion and commitment to provide help and relief." Thank you Wawa employees for keeping our most basic needs satisfied.
Supermarket, Convenience, Hardware Stores
Just like Wawa, many supermarkets, hardware stores and other convenience stores stayed open and stocked with supplies to prepare us for Sandy. Employees worked tirelessly to re-stock shelves when water, bread, batteries and generators quickly disappeared. They stayed patient when customers needed assistance and helped to make life just a little bit easier on those effected by the storm.
My most personal thanks go out to my readers. You guys made the hours of storm coverage, myself and my co-workers provided, meaningful. When we spend hours on the road and at our computers trying to tell people what's happening, it's all worth it when people are reading. It's even more worth it when people are participating. You asked questions and we answered them. You told us where the action was and we went there. You uploaded photos and told us about power outages and downed trees or wires and YOU informed your community. We had readers as far away as Australia and the UK asking us about their friends here in Chester and Delaware counties. You 'liked' us on Facebook and followed us on Twitter and clicked on our stories, and by doing all of that, you kept us going. You kept us on the roads and at our computers, knowing that what we were doing, was important. I've always believed in the power of Patch but it was never more apparent to me, then when Sandy was blowing through. So I thank you, my loyal Patch readers, for keeping us fueled and informed and I hope you continue to stay with us, as we try to keep you informed on your community, every day.
Who helped you during Superstorm Sandy? Thank them in the comments section below.
In case you missed it, here's a recap of our live Sandy coverage and a photo gallery of the storm throughout Delaware County.