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Palm Beach town officials praise employees for storm prep effort

Posted On: 10-11-2016

By William Kelly

Daily News Staff Writer

Mayor Gail Coniglio and Town Council members on Monday heaped praise on town employees for the vital role they played in protecting residents and property from Hurricane Matthew.

Audience members applauded town employees after Coniglio extended her thanks to everyone from the senior leadership team down to the “boots on the ground” — the public safety employees who safeguarded properties and public works crews who kept the streets and storm drains clear of debris.

“Every employee in here — stand up and take a bow,” Coniglio said during the council meeting, which occurred the same day construction crews returned to their job sites in Town Square and elsewhere. Residents and employees began rolling back into town on Friday. Beaches and public facilities reopened on Saturday and police check points ended over the weekend as things quickly returned to normal.

FPL had restored power to virtually every customer in town by Sunday evening, Town Manager Tom Bradford said.

“The level of organization and work — it was really wonderful for the town and we’re very appreciative,” Council President Michael Pucillo said.

“I got a lot of calls from people who couldn’t believe how beautiful the town looked by 10 a.m. the morning after,” Councilwoman Bobbie Lindsay said. “People saw trucks rolling in from FPL … the trees were picked up almost before daybreak.”

Town officials had braced for the worst as forecasters expected the Category 4 storm to skirt the Palm Beach County Coast on Thursday evening and Friday morning. The storm remained far enough offshore that winds in Palm Beach remained closer to tropical storm force — still strong enough to knock down some trees and take out power to the entire North End north of Wells Road, and in isolated pockets elsewhere.

Councilwoman Danielle Moore said residents don’t see all the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Moore also remarked on how the storm effort brought the community together. “I want to thank [Human Resources Director] Danielle Olson and [Councilwoman] Maggie Zeidman for making sandwiches for the public works and public safety employees, making sure those people on the streets were fed and cared for.”



Source: William Kelly, October 11, 2016, Palm Beach Daily News

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