Public employees help us weather the storm

Hurricane Irene battered the Atlantic coast this weekend, travelling slowly from North Carolina to New England. In her wake over 3 million lost power, flooding and high winds caused billions of dollars in damage, and at least 28 people lost their lives. But without the tireless efforts of public workers from across the country, Irene’s impact could have been much greater.

Through every stage of the hurricane, public workers put in long hours to ensure that their communities were prepared for the worst. Before the storm, they worked to formulate and implement evacuation plans, staff shelters, hand out supplies, answer help lines, and broadcast vital information. Here in Washington, DC Public Works employees worked tirelessly to produce and distribute sandbags this weekend. As the cars lined up for hours at RFK Stadium on Friday and Saturday, they were there, digging in the sand, filling bags, and loading them into car after car—doubtless backbreaking work.

When the storm first hit land on Friday night, public workers – from police officers to firefighters and emergency crews – were on the front lines, assisting those in need and risking their own lives for the safety of others. Now, as the cleanup continues, they’re helping restore power, clear away the wreckage, and make our roads and transportation networks operable again.

With so much rhetoric out there attacking public workers, can you imagine what this weekend might have been like without them? Wind and rain aside, Hurricane Irene was a reminder that when a crisis hits, whether it is a personal emergency or a massive natural disaster, it’s nearly always public employees who help us make it through.

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 29th, 2011 at 4:46 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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