Barrington Town Manager happy with storm response

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The winds have died down, the storm waters have receded and Barrington Town Manager Peter DeAngelis is pleased with the way town employees responded to this week’s wild weather.

“I think our employees really stepped up and responded to the conditions,” Mr. DeAngelis said Tuesday afternoon as public works crews continued to work on downed tree limbs around town and assist National Grid workers in getting power back to those in the dark.

Mr. DeAngelis said the town had better communication with National Grid for this storm compared with Irene, which hit in late August 2011. A regional National Grid employee was on hand at the DPW yard on Upland Way throughout the storm, coordinating power restoration efforts with local officials.

Planning for the storm began last week, including a meeting with all department heads Friday morning. Mr. DeAngelis said even those who don’t normally deal with public safety were on hand.

“We really promote a team effort here,” Mr. DeAngelis said.

“If it’s necessary for a department head to do something different, they’re more than willing to do that. It’s important we maintain lines of communication internally as well. We have a very good workforce.”

While Mr. DeAngelis acknowledged those without power may feel inconvenienced, he said the number of residents waiting for electricity was much smaller this year compared with last. Mr. DeAngelis said heightened communication was one part of this improvement, along with on-going DPW and National Grid tree trimming efforts.

Mr. DeAngelis also said, however, he won’t be happy until every single resident’s power is back on.

Monday night into Tuesday, one local pumping station was running on a generator while another had to be pumped out. That meant a few DPW workers stayed on overnight. The police department also had on extra personnel, including a second dispatcher and additional officers.

Mr. DeAngelis said the goal is keep maintenance of service “seamless” for residents. He also said it can sometimes be forgotten that those working for the town have families as well.

“We often lost sight of that,” Mr. DeAngelis said.

“Our workers have families and personal concerns as well. They have to walk away from that to serve the taxpayers.”

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