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Nighbor Helping Neighbor

By Staff | Jul 3, 2010

The roof of Countryside Collision near Easton was torn off during Saturday’s storm

Neighbors helping neighbors.

That was the scene on June 26 and June 27 after high winds toppled trees in Wells.

Police Chief Jim Ratelle says he and his wife had gone to bed Saturday night when the storm hit.

“The winds picked up so we headed to the basement. Then we heard a thud. I was expecting a crash next,” he says.

At Monday’s council meeting Mayor Shannon Savick thanked all those who helped with clean-up efforts on both days.

Throughout the city, tree branches were piled at nearly every street intersection.

The high winds also downed trees and overturned some gravestones at the cemetery on County Road 109, west of town.

City employees and local residents spent some 10 hours on Saturday clearing debris.

Local contractors and tree service companies also were called in.

“It was a tough two days. There must have been 10 trucks hauling debris all day,” says Bob Waack, an employee at the city’s recycling center.

Mike Pyzick, assistant street supervisor and Wells Fire Department fire chief, says the mess from Friday’s storm was “pretty well licked” when a second storm hit the city later Saturday night.

By 9 a.m. Sunday morning, Pyzick was turning to area fire departments for assistance.

“They not only helped out getting branches off power lines, they also went to residential areas to help,” says Pyzick. “We must have had about 60 firefighters show up.”

National Weather Service officials spent Monday in Wells gathering information to determine whether a tornado had touched down in the city.

Power outages were reported in portions of the city.

Jeff Amy, superintendent of Wells Public Utilities, says 600 of the company’s 1,382 customers were without power for several hours on both days.

“Every one of our customers had their power interrupted at one time or another,” he says.

Amy says none of the company’s transformers or expensive equipment were damaged.

He says most of the cost will be labor-related, adding that the utility’s five employees logged nearly 200 hours over the two days.

Two workers and a bucket truck from Fairmont Public Utilities needed to be called in Sunday to help fully restore power.

“Minor stuff like broken street lights still need to be fixed. It’ll take us the next two weeks to get that done,” says Amy.