Illinois Volunteers Help With Hurricane Recovery, SPD to Deploy
It has been one week since Hurricane Sandy ravaged the east coast, killing more than 100 Americans, demolishing homes, flooding communities and downing power lines.
As clean-up continues after the deadly Hurricane Sandy, the hardest hit areas in New Jersey and New York brace for another coastal storm: a nor'easter expected late Wednesday that could produce strong winds, heavy rains and cause tidal flooding along the coast.
Dozens of volunteers from several Illinois agencies are there, helping with a number of relief efforts. A group of emergency managers from around the state left Thursday. We reached Jim Pitchford, the Macoupin County Emergency Management Coordinator, by phone. He's in New York helping with shelter operations.
"We came in Friday, began to orientate ourselves, went immediately to work providing assistance to folks with our knowledge and expertise to help through some of the problems," Pitchford said.
Ameren has 175 linemen repairing downed power lines and restoring electricity.
1.7 million homes and businesses are still struggling without power.
More help is on the way. Officer Leroy Jett is one of 20 Springfield police officers who will drive to New Jersey this weekend. The state has requested help from law enforcement from several states. SPD will bring equipment and squad cars because many New Jersey police cars are flooded.
"They're basically going to provide security to some areas damaged--police presence and equipment and vehicles to drive around," Deputy Chief Cliff Buscher said.
"Our mobile field force team is primarily geared toward riot situations, but we're also tasked as a regional site security mobile police department," Jett said. "So we can pick up and function as a mobile police department pretty much anywhere."
The group of 20 Springfield police officers is planning to leave Sunday, November 11 and is expected to stay for about a week.