The Town of Chapel Hill has seen and suffered through numerous disasters in the past 10 years. Starting after Hurricane Fran, preparedness plans were set up and a command center was designated and staffed and given a dedicated generator. Meals were brought in for the crews working to clear storm damage from the 2000 snow (22 inches of snow in 24 hours), the ice storms of 2001 and 2002, back-to-back hurricanes in September 2003, and many others, most of which passed below the public's radar, such as the flooding at Camelot Apartments around the same time as the flooding at Eastgate shopping center.
Yesterday, 16 April, the plans did not materialize. Crews were sent out at 7 am to do their normal routine, despite weather predictions of very high winds and heavy rains. Within an hour and a half, phones were ringing off the hook at the Public Works with reports of trees and power lines down. Still, a plan failed to materialize until after 1 pm.
Over on the Open thread for Lot 5 entry, Gerry shared a really cool story about one of Chapel Hill's unique citizens. I found it really educational and very funny. So do you have one that could top it? Come on help a guy out and impress us with your stories of days gone by.
In case you missed it here is Gerry's story:
Chapel Hill Herald, Saturday September 24, 2005
Remembering Joe Straley
This week, Chapel Hill lost it's great icon of progressive activism of the past half-century. Since the 1950s, Joe Straley, who died last Wednesday at age 90, has been a continual force in Chapel Hill politics, one whose range of concerns was truly global.
From civil rights and anti-war activism in the 1950s and '60s, to a stint on the Town Council in the 1970s, to leadership of the Carolina Interfaith Taskforce on Central America in the 1980s and into the 21st century, Joe Straley did it all. He was an unflinching advocate for racial justice, civil liberties, solidarity with oppressed peoples the world over and for peace. In this age of self-congratulatory American empire, Joe was an anti-imperialist and an internationalist.
But beyond the issues and the activism, Joe was a special kind of person. Not a great orator, Straley was always on point and well-spoken. By no means a charismatic leader, he was warm, easy-going and down-to-earth, with a depth of compassion and a big heart that drew people to him and his projects.
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