With the majority of Pembroke now re-energized, town officials sat down Thursday morning with Senator Therese Murray to comb through the bumps they encountered during the storm.
Senator Murray heard several problems that Pembroke officials faced.
“They had some old equipment, they had a generator go down on their gas pump, they couldn’t get their plows,” said Senator Murray
But one common problem she’s heard throughout her district: shelters.
Pembroke opened an overnight shelter once residents started losing power but they weren’t planning on doing so.
According to officials, the Red Cross was directing Pembroke residents to two regional shelters—one in South Plymouth and one in Bridgewater.
But as the snow began to fall roads became impassable making it a challenge for officials to transport residents to other towns. And once Pembroke opened a shelter at the Council on Aging, it was a struggle to get supplies and cots.
Senator Murray said she plans on speaking with other Massachusetts senators about this issue, “I want to hear from them because if this is across the board what happens then we got a problem, we have to fix this system and I think we have a problem.”
But Pembroke Fire Chief Neenan believes the reason it was a fight to get what they needed is because of bureaucracy. “There’s too many hoops to go through. Particularly in an emergency, we got to cut through the red tape and get into ‘let’s just get it done’ mode and then we’ll talk about it later. As long as nobody’s getting hurt, let’s just get it done,” said Chief Neenan
The Town of Pembroke was able to get it done with the help of officials and several volunteers who made sure the public was properly cared for, according to Chief Neenan.
Senator Murray said she’s going to have a de-briefing with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross to ensure that the South Shore is better prepared for a future storm.