BOC hon­ors the he­roes of Trop­i­cal Storm Irma

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - DAR­RYL WELCH dwelch@cov­news.com

The New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers (BOC) took time at its Tues­day night meet­ing to rec­og­nize the county work­ers who went above and be­yond the call of duty to serve and pro­tect the public as Trop­i­cal Storm Irma was bat­ter­ing the county Sept. 11.

BOC Chair­man Mar­cello Banes thanked the county’s Fire Ser­vices, Sher­iff’s Of­fice, Roads Depart­ment and Land­fill staff for the work they did dur­ing the storm.

“We want to thank you guys. Your ser­vice to our com­mu­nity is so valu­able. Words can’t ex­press how much we ap­pre­ci­ate you,” he said.

“That was a pretty rough storm for our com­mu­nity. There were a lot of trees down, a lot of lines down, a lot of stuff that was de­stroyed. We are so grate­ful for you and the work that you put in to get the roads back open, to make sure that peo­ple were safe – just do­ing what you do and you do it well. And we want to take this op­por­tu­nity now to say a big ‘thank you’. We ap­pre­ci­ate the work that you do.”

County Man­ager Lloyd Kerr echoed Banes’ sen­ti­ments.

“This is a tes­ta­ment to the type of em­ploy­ees that we have,” he said, “all of th­ese peo­ple came to work with­out hes­i­ta­tion.

“While a lot of peo­ple were safe at home, we had folks out on the street, we had peo­ple work­ing on top of the land­fill, we had deputies pa­trolling. This is just a real tes­ta­ment to the qual­ity and ded­i­ca­tion of our em­ploy­ees.”

Sher­iff Ezell Brown also thanked the

em­ploy­ees.

“I just want all of you to know we ap­pre­ci­ate your ser­vice. We had more than 76 deputies on the road that night to work in con­junc­tion with ev­ery­one here. We logged in more than 2000 hours dur­ing the storm and we just ap­pre­ci­ate the fact that we can come to­gether and work as one team,” he said.

The New­ton County Sher­iff ’s Of­fice re­sponded to 492 calls for ser­vice dur­ing the 28-hour pe­riod from Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. through Sept. 12 at 2 p.m. New­ton County fire­fight­ers re­sponded to 133 calls dur­ing that same pe­riod.

County Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency Di­rec­tor Jody Nolan told com­mis­sion­ers the sher­iff’s of­fice con­tin­ued to re­spond even as util­ity com­pa­nies ceased op­er­a­tions due to high winds.

“By 10 p.m. Mon­day night, all util­ity com­pa­nies quit re­spond­ing to down lines be­cause sus­tained winds were up above 25 mph and wind gusts were up above 45 mph. So we pretty much ceased op­er­a­tions, other than the sher­iff’s depart­ment. And they con­tin­ued to go out and re­spond to calls, to put bar­ri­cade tape in front of roads, to clear small de­bris, to try to warn the cit­i­zens of the down trees. So even though oth­ers couldn’t re­spond, they were out there dur­ing the storm.”

Sub­mit­ted | The Cov­ing­ton News The New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers thanks county em­ploy­ees for their work through Trop­i­cal Storm Irma.

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