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Council Commends Lansdale on Hurricane Response

At Lansdale Borough Council's work session Wednesday, no department was off limits in being thanked and commended for its response before, during and after Hurricane Sandy. A special reception honoring staff is set for Nov. 28 at 6 p.m.

No department in the Borough of Lansdale was overlooked Wednesday night as councilmembers thanked and commended those who prepared before, and responded during and after, Hurricane Sandy.

Chief Robert McDyre told the public safety committee Wednesday that the police department weathered the storm very well.

He said eight officers were assigned to each of the three shifts. If the police had 19 officers instead of 24, it might have been worse.

"We were overwhelmed with calls," McDyre said. "If we had four or six officers, it would have been terrible."

Public Safety Committee Chairman Mike Sobel said the police were very busy during the storm.

As with every other department, you all did a fantastic job. Thanks needs to go out to members of council ... for getting the police staff up to where it needs to be," Sobel said.

Administration and Finance Chairman Dan Dunigan said the borough had about 140 power outages, with some residents out for no more than a day.

He said the borough fared well, compared to what the situation was like around it.

At one point, Main Street Pizzeria was one of the few buisnesses with power during the storm, so it became a gathering place.

"To say the response to the hurricane was outstanding is an understatement," Dunigan said.

Electric Committee Chairman Rich DiGregorio said each department did a great job.

"A lot of residents were impressed with the workmanship," DiGregorio said. "Kudos to all who worked hard for the borough."

Parks and Recreation Committee Chairwoman Mary Fuller said the parks and recreation department "stepped up" to handle Hurricane Sandy.

"They were on hand," she said. "Thanks to Joanne Grubb, who was with the electric department. I want to publicly thank parks and recreation and staff. Through the borough manager and fire marshal, everyone did a fantastic job."

Public Works Committee Chairman Denton Burnell sent thanks out to utilities director Jake Ziegler and highways director Rick DeLong for the work they put in during the storm.

"They worked around the clock since Sunday," Burnell said.

He said DeLong made sure to thank council.

"The front-end loader (that council approved for purchase for public works) was extremely beneficial to them in terms of moving and removing (items)," Burnell said. "We reciprocate that for the work you did."

Wastewater Treament Plant Director Dan Shinskie said his department was well-prepared for the event. Crews began arriving for the response at 8 p.m. Sunday, he said.

The only issue, he said, was a pump station lost power, and a generator was used for about 15 hours.

He said the plant maxed out what it could as far as high water flow, in order to prepare for more rain that was coming.

Council President Matt West said he was holding his comments for three more weeks.

"As we did with Hurricane Irene, there will be a special reception in three weeks from now for all staff that participated, as a way to say 'Thank you' to them," West said. "I invite the public to come out. This is your borough too."

The reception is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 28 at borough hall, one hour prior to council's business meeting.

The council meeting has been moved from its regular slot of the third Wednesday of each month, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

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