Unsolicited assistance

Published 12:56 am Friday, September 9, 2011

As Washington Electric Utilities crews worked feverishly before and after Hurricane Irene, so did other city employees.

Because they’re associated with electricity, WEU workers get the lion’s share of attention of WEU customers and city residents when the power goes out and stays out for days at a time. Though not as visible, other city employees were on the job during Irene.

Washington Police Department officers provided the only security — around the clock — at the two disaster shelters in Washington — Washington High School and P.S. Jones Middle School. Providing that security meant fewer officers available for other post-storm duties. Employees from various city departments manned the call center where WEU customers called to report power outages, downed trees and other storm-related occurrences.

City Manager Josh Kay, during a special City Council meeting earlier this week, gave high praise to city employees for their performance related to Irene. He also praised city residents and businesses for helping the city.

“There are so many businesses and individuals that helped us throughout this storm. I want to find some way to thank them,” Kay said. “A lot of businesses stepped up, opened their doors … to make sure our crews were fed or our contractors were fed. They really went above and beyond. We want to thank them, and everybody, for supporting us during our recovery efforts.”

See, public-private partnerships do work.