Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hotshots and Hurricanes

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Jackson Hotshots - the closest and only BLM Hotshot crew east of the Mississippi River - were quickly deployed to New Jersey to assist. In fact, Sandy is not their first experience with hurricane clean-up. They also assisted with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Because of how late in hurricane season Sandy hit, the Jackson Hotshots partnered with local Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife, and Bureau of Indian Affairs to round out the crew…
Dodging downed power lines, Jackson Hotshots clear trees so that energy crews can access damaged areas and restore power to local citizens.

Primarily, the Jackson Hotshot crew has been clearing trees so that energy crews can access damaged areas and restore power to local citizens. According to the crew, most of the residents have been without power for two weeks and many have not even been able to return home due to the danger of downed power lines. The downed power lines are making the job of clearing roads very dangerous and time consuming. Slowly, but surely, the crew is making headway.
Hotshot Superintendent, Lamar Liddell, and crew survey damage to a local residence in Roselle Park, New Jersey.
Jackson Hotshots assist with debris removal in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. 

So far, the crew has divided their time between the towns of Roselle Park and Union. When asked about this assignment, Lamar Liddell, Crew Superintendent said, "It is very fulfilling to be able to help the local communities here in New Jersey. Having lived through a similar situation when Katrina devastated Mississippi, I know that our help is sorely needed and appreciated. We are here to try and help these folks get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible."
The Jackson Hotshots expect to be on assignment for a couple more weeks.

Reprint of "Hotshots and Hurricanes" as ran on November 15, 2012, via the The BLM Daily intranet blog.


Joe Accardi said...

As we pass the one year mark since the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and as our little town has returned to normal, it must be said that the work done by the Jackson Hotshots was instrumental in putting us on the road to recovery. On behalf of the residents of the Borough of Roselle Park, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to this wonderful group of heroes who came to our aid during our most difficult hour. Their efforts are truly indescribable, their own sacrifice in coming to our assistance was never an issue for them... their hard work and dedication will never be forgotten by the residents of Roselle Park.
Joe Accardi
Mayor, Borough of Roselle Park

Pam McDonald said...

Thank you for your comment, Joe!