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St. Stephen will be ready for future weather emergencies, says mayor - Jan. 03, 2014

Kathy Bockus
St. Stephen
The town of St. Stephen will be better prepared for any future storm emergencies states its mayor John Quartermain.
“We are going to have something in our new civic centre,” said Quartermain who said he and Jason Cooling, the regional Emergency Measures Organization coordinator, were in discussions this past week in the wake of the ice storm Dec. 21 that knocked out power for many of the town’s residents for several days.
Quartermain said one of the items the town will purchase is a large stand-by generator to provide power to an emergency shelter established at the civic centre.
“Jason Cooling and I are going to work on outfitting the new civic centre as an emergency centre.”
The mayor said he didn’t feel there was any delay in establishing an emergency shelter last week. He said while the storm hit Saturday and knocked out power to some residents in town and outlying areas, no one who was in need contacted him.
“I asked if there was any people inquiring about it or whatever and it is my understanding nobody had inquired.”
Quartermain said no one in need had been brought to his attention or “to anybody’s that I had spoken with.”
“They certainly didn’t bring it to mine,” said Quartermain. “I’ve had my cell phone on continuously and nobody expressed a need to me.”
He said he was in discussions with deputy mayor John Ames about taking the necessary steps to open a shelter last week when they received word Tuesday that the St. Croix Christian Centre (the former Milltown Legion) was all set to open its doors as an emergency shelter.
“Things were arranged and in place and the Red Cross set things up in there.”
If the storm which hit the area Sunday, eight days after the original ice storm, had made it necessary, the mayor said the town had a plan to establish a second warming shelter at the St. Stephen Legion on Queen Street.
The mayor, who is a retired NB Power employee, confirmed he has been part of the contingent of power crews from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I which have been working to restore power to the area.
He said he believed in St. Stephen, Elm Park went the longest without power, which was reconnected there Saturday night, a week after the storm hit.

kathy@stcroixcourier.ca