Delaware Twp. Gets Debriefing on Storm Response
By Dakota Hendricks
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, March 22, 2018
DINGMANS FERRY – At their March 15 meeting, Delaware Township Board of Supervisors heard a preliminary report from Emergency Management Coordinator George Beodeker about the response to Winter Storms Riley and Quinn.
In the preliminary report, Beodeker outlined the struggles Delaware Township faced during the first few days, including where and when vehicles were stuck, the fire department’s response, tree cutting and other measures. He said Delaware Township did not meet federal requirements to open as a shelter; however, they provided a warming station, MRE’s etc., at the township building.
Beodeker said they struggled to get information out to the public and had difficulty fighting rumors of mandatory evacuation and other misinformation. The Township had to hire Sequoia Tree Service, a company with disaster certification, to clear trees near live wires and clear trees for emergency responders. There will be a formal emergency action review in the next 30 days.
Beodeker praised Roadmaster Vincent Flatt, Mike Moffa, Steve Tarquini, Lori McCrory, Robin Jones, Krista Predmore and the 20 firemen from the Township Fire Department for “carrying” the residents of Delaware Township through the storm and cleanup. Beodeker warned that residents should prepare for the upcoming storm early as the infrastructure is already damaged and the people that maintain it are work out.
Tom Zologa, a PennDOT subcontractor, said he was upset at the lack of communication during the storm. He asked why the Township did not have adequate measures to get information out ahead of time like a radio broadcast considering similar circumstances occurred after Hurricane Sandy. He accused the Board of doing “nothing” despite Beodeker’s attempts at explaining what the Emergency Management Response entailed. Zologa said “How can you check it [Facebook] when the power is out?”
According to Michel Baehr, executive director of American Red Cross Poconos and Wayne/Pike Chapter, the Red Cross was deployed to Matamoras, Milford, Bushkill and Dingman Fire Departments, bringing food and other needed supplies. “it’s up to Pike EMA to let us know what they need.”
There will be a Red Cross Appreciation Dinner at Bushkill Fire Department on April 22 starting at 4 p.m. for Bushkill, Dingman, Milford Township, Matamoras and Lackawaxen Fire companies that opened shelters. Any others that also set up shelters can attend.
The Supervisors will be asking Boucher & James Consulting Engineers to re-evaluate two birdges in the township, on Park Road and Log and Twig, to determine the extent of the damage done by Winter Storms Riley and Quinn. Boucher & James will also be contracted to repair the docks at Akenac park, finish the Akenac Rec Hall Piers, design a salt shed for the township and create plans for the restoration of the Dingmans Ferry/Delaware Township Historical Society.
Resident Dick Hanel asked the Board if there was any way to reach out to the Park Service to get a timetable as to when local parks such as Child’s Park will be reopened. He was particularly concerned as the last closure of the park lasted over two year. Beodeker responded, saying the Park Service has yet to do a damage assessment and will not until the weather clears.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
There will be a public hearing on March 28 to amend ordinance 110 and 901 adding kennels as conditional use in commercial zones and defining what a kennel is.
The Township approved motions to advertise for staff at Akenac Park during the summer months. Positions include lifeguard, seasonal gatekeeper and public works.
The Board approved a pay raise to $16 an hour to full time public works employee Mike Moffa.
The Dingmans Ferry Lions Club will be holding a Fish Fry at the municipal building on March 23 from 3-8pm.
The Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps is holding their Annual Easter Plant and Bake Sale Friday, March 30 from 12pm to 7pm.
The Supervisors approved a request to use Akenac Park by North PPODS & Friends, Parents of Children with Special Needs, to hold their annual Walk for Down Syndrome Awareness on Sunday September 23.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on March 28. The Workshop begins at 6pm The Supervisors’ meeting starts at 7pm.