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Hurricane Sandy Response a Good ‘Drill’ for Amherst Responders

AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) — The town took a hit from Hurricane sandy but nothing like it did from the October snowstorm of last year.

Cleaning that up took the DPW weeks. Cleanup from Sandy is expected to take as little as a week.

“Last year was brutal because we had the wet snow,” said Mark Woynar of the Amherst DPW. “Basically they powered the town down because there were just so many lines down. I’d say probably 80% of the roads were just impassable. It was a lot better this year.”

As far as power outages, they were also minimal. Only a couple of lines went down. But even though Hurricane Sandy turned out to be weaker than thought, the Amherst Emergency Management team said it helped them prepare for a stronger storm.

“So, effectively, we look at it as pretty good practice, a pretty good drill for something that becomes more serious,” said Don McKay, Assistant Fire Chief for Amherst. “So, if we end up in a situation such as you see in the coast of New Jersey or in New York City, we’re better prepared now, we believe, to deal with more serious situations.”

McKay said he doesn’t see any major issues that came out of this storm response. But he says the team will review the response to look for any needed improvements.


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