As Hurricane Sandy moved toward northern Canada, Americans were scrambling to begin the recovery effort. And Franklin County has made its own contribution in the form of its top emergency management official.
Alan Radcliffe, Franklin County emergency management director and fire marshal, left Sunday for Baltimore to help coordinate the cleanup effort in Maryland. Radcliffe, along with a team of six other men from Kansas, responded to the hurricane-stricken state as part of the Kansas State Incident Response Team.
“The southeast part of the state is flooding, the northwest county has about two feet of snow and close to 100-percent power outage, four-by-four ambulances are unable to respond,” Lisa Johnson, county administrator and counselor, said, reading from an email Radcliffe sent to her Wednesday morning. Johnson said she had received regular emails from Radcliffe updating county officials on the situation. He has been unable to make phone calls, she said.
Radcliffe, who was responsible for putting the team together, is working 12-hour days serving as the deputy state emergency operations center commander. His team is helping to coordinate the recovery efforts of local organizations and facilitating resource delivery to those organizations. He currently is stationed in Reisterstown, Md. in the central part of the state, and is expected to return in about a week and a half.
The situation in Maryland is not as bad as in New Jersey and New York state, Radcliffe said in an email. The death toll from the massive hurricane reached 39 in the U.S. as of Wednesday, and left millions of people without power. The damage from Hurricane Sandy is estimated to be more than $20 billion.
In contrast, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 caused more than $75 million in damages, but killed 1,833 people in New Orleans and other areas along the Gulf Coast.