Hurricane Sandy hit Lynn hard with its strong winds and driving rain but a well-executed plan by city officials helped minimize the effects of the tremendous storm and accelerated the city’s recovery from it.
Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Emergency Management Director Thomas Hines, Acting DPW Director Manny Alcantara and his department, Fire Chief Dennis Carmody, Police Chief Kevin Carmody, and the Water and Sewer Commission saw their advanced planning efforts pay dividends after officials delegated key responsibilities and organized well in the days preceding the storm.
There were smart decisions made when the storm hit, such as the State Police and Lynn Police closing down Lynn Shore Drive for the safety of residents and motorists. The decision to cancel school was also a wise one as ominous meteorological reports about Sandy’s intensity were heeded – while Lynn Classical High School served as a shelter for those who needed it.
For Alcantara, this was the first major weather event of his tenure as the acting director of the Lynn DPW and Alcantara’s experience was an asset in his outstanding work. Alcantara and 28 employees of his department began their storm preparedness the day before Sandy struck Lynn and were diligent and dogged in helping out Lynn residents in challenging conditions.
Alcantara said the pre-storm strategy sessions with Mayor Kennedy and Director Hines and emergency personnel were crucial to the effective overall effort. Paul Crowley, executive director of Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS) also made his presence felt while looking out for the needs of our seniors who were concerned about Sandy’s impact.
The DPW alone received 83 phone calls from Lynn residents and Alcantara and his staff handled and addressed each call with the utmost professionalism and concern.
We commend our mayor, our emergency management director, our city officials, our DPW, and our public safety forces whose meticulous planning and steady teamwork helped keep our residents safe and secure during the arrival and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.