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Thursday, December 18, 2014

L.B. Emergency workers are on the job ‘day and night’
(Page 3 of 3)
Bill Kelly/Herald
A fire in the Canals during Hurricane Sandy destroyed eight homes and put a number of Fire Department vehicles out of commission.

“Monday was all rescues — we rescued firefighters in a boat during the storm,” said one National Guardsman stationed on West Beech Street last Saturday, adding that Humvees sometimes drove through five feet of water. “Now it’s all about the humanitarian effort.”

Cregeen said on Tuesday that there had been only been two non-storm-related deaths. “One was a 92-year-old hospice patient, and the other was a woman in her 70s, and both deaths appear to be from natural causes,” he said, adding that both women were found in their homes. “We’ve done close to 400 welfare checks, but … I don’t know the circumstances in which they were found.”

Peter Thoung, who lives in Seattle, was trying to find his mother, Dorothy, a resident of Hoffman Manor, who had been evacuated. “I got a … call from someone who didn’t identify himself, saying that she was in pain and needed help,” Thoung said. “Hoffman Manor has not been in contact with planet Earth since the evacuation.”

Cregeen said that the welfare checks were continuing, and were being conducted by Long Beach and state police. “Anybody from out of town who calls us up who says that they can’t get ahold of a relative, we’ll absolutely respond,” he said. “A lot of [calls] are coming from neighbors concerned about elderly residents.”

According to Cregeen, police made eight arrests in the aftermath of the storm, mostly for robberies and weapons possession; the Police Department had increased patrols, with help from the county; and that there were 30 to 40 State Troopers on patrol between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

“We’ve also had 18 burglary reports,” Cregeen said, “but a lot of people are out of town, so that may not be an accurate number.”

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