Down East Seniors talk volcano emergency response

Published 12:47 pm Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Down East Seniors Club held its June 5 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Charles Smith led the meeting. Jim Hackney played for the singing of “God Bless America,” which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Polk Culpepper gave the invocation, and Ed Hamrick read factoids for the date in history. Hackney provided humor.

Hamrick introduced Curtis Avery as the speaker. Avery is the county fire marshal with Beaufort County Emergency Services. He told about special training for incident management he participated in last year. In May 2018, the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii experienced an earthquake which caused parts of the volcano rim to collapse and also opened cracks in the surrounding earth. This allowed molten lava to flow toward the sea, threatening many homes and residents. Avery and several other emergency managers from North Carolina were asked to go to Hawaii for a week to assist the local emergency managers in responding to the situation, as well as operating under conditions he had never experienced. They worked 17-hour days, coordinating the evacuation of several thousand from the threat of hot lava and poisonous gas. Many homes and roads were destroyed.

Hamrick won the 50/50 drawing.

At the June 12 meeting, Hackney will present Doug Lequire, chief engineer at Goose Creek State Park.

The Down East Seniors Club is a group of older men who meet Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. They enjoy fellowship and an interesting program. Guests are welcome.