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Salisbury firefighters lend hand after Hurricane Irene

SALISBURY — Six Salisbury firefighters were deployed Sunday morning to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.
Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell said the team was sent to Hyde County and arrived about 5:15 p.m., according to a press release. The team was made up of Battalion Chief David Morris, Fire Capt. James Farley, Fire Capt. Cory Orbison, Capt. Darrell Nichols, and firefighters Dustin Tanner and Chris Damato.
Parnell received a request for aid from the State Emergency Operations Center about 8 a.m. The mission is for up to three days.
“The City of Salisbury is honored to lend this vital support to our fellow North Carolinians,” Mayor Susan Kluttz said. “Our Salisbury Firefighters are highly-trained and well-equipped to deliver this much-needed support and we are sincerely proud of their selfless acts of heroism and their dedication to others.”
Parnell said Concord, Statesville, Shelby and Gastonia have also responded, sending crews and engines
Responding crews were initially staged at Mattamuskeet Elementary School in the town of Swan Quarter, Parnell reported, but due to generator failure they were diverted to Hyde County’s Emergency Operations Center.
After arriving, Chief David Morris reported that Salisbury Fire Department was the first team to arrive from the western part of the state.
“We are seeing a lot of wind damage to structures, similar to what we experienced locally with Hugo back in 1989,” Morris wrote. “So far, we have observed some flood damage, but mostly damage from the wind with many trees down and upon buildings.”
Morris also reported that the Salisbury Fire Department was assigned coverage of the Ponzer Community Fire Station and will be responding to emergency calls and conducting related duties for the Hyde County station.
“This will provide a break for the Ponzer firefighters who have been on duty for 48 straight hours and allow them to check on their families and properties.”
Salisbury firefighters will attend a mobilization assessment meeting at 8 this morning with the Hyde County Emergency Management officials, the release said. The Salisbury firefighters will be released at noon to make the trip home if they are not needed.

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