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Montco Officials Pleased With County’s Response To Hurricane Emergency

(Flooding along East Lafayette Street in Norristown following Hurricane Irene.  Credit: Cherri Gregg)

(Flooding along East Lafayette Street in Norristown following Hurricane Irene. Credit: Cherri Gregg)

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – Overall, Montgomery County public safety officials say, they feel good about the way the county handled the emergencies that arose out of Hurricane Irene this past weekend.

Some of the numbers are staggering: four thousand incidents dispatched by the 911 emergency center, 75 water rescues, and more than 23,000 views on the county’s Facebook page.

County public safety director Tom Sullivan says the county dodged a bullet but there was a still a lot of damage, and unfortunately one person lost her life.

Sullivan says four assessment teams have been out compiling reports for FEMA, whose officials will be in the county on Friday.

Sullivan adds that he feels good about the initial response but says there’s still work to do.

“I think in our business you can never stand still,” he told KYW Newsradio today.  “You can never be satisfied with the way it is, and just good enough isn’t good enough for us.  We have to constantly be trying to look for ways to improve, and I think the public’s expectations continue to go up.”

He says social media played a big part in getting the word out to people.

The only fatality was in Whitemarsh, where longtime Genuardi’s employee Patricia O’Neill drowned in her car while trying to get to the store three hours early because of the storm (see related story).

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060

CBSPhilly.com Guide To Hurricane Irene


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