Saturday, November 3, 2012

Super Storm Sandy Clean - Up

Thursday morning, two days after Sandy blew through my neighborhood, with the sun above the horizon just twenty-five minutes, I noticed an impressive mass of trucks in the nearby Target parking lot. There were, by my estimations, thrity-some six wheel bucket trucks, utility pole lifting trucks, trailers, 12 passenger vans and pick-up trucks from out of town. Originating, I figured from the license plates, in North Carolina and Florida.

Organizing amongst the trucks were dozens of safety vest wearing workers - lineman, flagmen/women, tree trimmers and supporting crews. Workers that left their families and put their regular lives on hold. They traveled hundreds of miles north to help clean up and re-energize my neighborhood. An unfamiliar community hard hit by a powerful super storm.

They arrived the night before and stayed at a new hotel in the area, Hilton Garden Inn in Oaks, PAA facility that opened its doors just three weeks earlier upon finishing construction. The hotel is a few hundred yards away their hot tired trucks rested overnight in the Target parking lot.

According to Nicole Ream, Regional Director of Sales, the hotel embraced the arrival of the workers. "After three days on the road",  Ream said, "Garden Inn wanted to make the workers feel at home. These are great group of guys. They will be working long hours doing dangerous work with high voltage. Once they are here in the hotel we want them to relax and provide them with good food and comfortable surroundings." 

"We here at the hotel are very interested in our community," Ream told me. "The owners and staff are grateful for the sacrifice of these out-of-town workers are making to help our community," she said. She added, the chef has put extra effort into making sure the breakfasts are hearty and will last the men through their mornings. He personally baked cookies to include in the box lunches to bring a little bit of home to their mid-day break and meal. And lastly after sixteen hours of hard labor, the workers should have good hot filling dinners before they get to lay their heads down and close their weary eyes.

Hilton Garden Inn usual guests are corporate and leisure travelers was well as guests from the community. Guests such as grandparents visiting for the holidays or those storm victims without electricity looking for a dry comfortable place with a hot bath to stay for a few nights.

The hotel is located in Marketplace of Oaks /422 Business Center. It shares space with large retail stores Target, Lowe's, BJ's, indoor entertainment and The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. There are also several eateries such as Bob Evans, Max and Erma's, a hot dog and a sushi restaurant and a pizzeria.

The inn also contains a bar and restaurant that are open to the public as well as a banquet facility for meetings, parties and wedding receptions.

If you see one of these men sacrificing their lives to bring our community back to full functioning, stop and say thanks, thanks a lot.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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