Council commends emergency response to storm in Glocester

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A Glocester resident published video showing flooding on George Allen Road.

GLOCESTER – At the recent Glocester Town Council meeting, Glocester fire departments, police and emergency management crews along with staff from the Department of Public Works were praised for their response to the disastrous rain and wind events of Monday, Dec. 18.

“Monday was a very busy day for us,” Glocester Police Chief Joseph DelPrete told the council. “We responded to over 150 calls for service, wires down, flooded basements, and rescue. We held some people over, brought some people in early…it was just tremendous work by all involved. Great job.”

Town actions included opening up Glocester Town Hall for anyone who needed shelter and/or a warm, dry place to stay, along with food to eat. Town officials noted there were about 2,000 homes without power at one point.

“Towards the end of the night, there were still about 500 houses without power, and it was going down to 25 degrees, so we decided to open up the warming center,” said Emergency Management Director Jerry Mosca.

After that, everything went fairly smoothly with restoring power, clean up and more, said Mosca. He added that emergency management called every individual of concern in town, utilizing Rhode Island Central News Registry to check on residents.

“We called everyone who had electrical medical devices that were located in areas that were out, and we called the ones that had power,” said Mosca. “Everyone was good. One person actually said they recovered, which was very nice to hear.”

“Great work. Great job,” responded Town Council Vice President Stephen Arnold. “(I) appreciate that Code Red that went out. (There was a) lot of feedback in town about that.”

DelPrete added to the praise.

“We have the best EM Director in the state,” said DelPrete. “I just want to say that. What people don’t know is we are involved with a special needs registry. It has different levels of risks of different residents in town, and there is a group of residents in town who have the highest risks, who have life support needs who need electricity. We reach out to them either through Jerry, or I do it through the police department.”

DelPrete added they verbally tried to contact those residents to make sure they were ok. If they couldn’t reach them, they went to their homes.

“This was getting a little protracted because of the electricity getting a little longer (being down); so, we stepped up and made some visits,” he explained. “The police department, the EMA, we really do a hands on, reach out to those people.”

Altogether, there are about 100 residents who fall into that category, said DelPrete.

“They are very happy about it, when they see a police cruiser, or they get a call from dispatch or they get a call from someone, one of the volunteers,” he added. “This was a very bad storm, but we implemented all our procedures, and we are ready for the next one, and the next one.”

“Great job keeping everyone safe,” said Town Council President William Worthy.

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