Nor'easter prompted full deployment of Wareham Fire Department

Clean up efforts wind down
Mar 5, 2018

A destructive nor’easter that caused property damage and widespread, prolonged power outages prompted the Wareham Fire Department to deploy all full-time and call firefighters starting Friday afternoon into early Saturday morning

According to Interim Fire Chief Pat Haskell, the department started receiving storm-related calls at noon on Friday. At that time, all firefighters were called to the station as well as a second dispatcher.

On Friday afternoon, most of the calls were for down power lines, down trees, obstructed roadways and property damage, said Haskell.

Starting Friday evening, “we were inundated with calls as the heavy rain and hurricane force winds peaked,” said Haskell. The nature of the calls changed, too. Trees falling through buildings were reported and the department responded to 379 Main St. where a roof was blown off of a vacant office building. By midnight, firefighters had responded to 95 emergency calls.

In the storm’s aftermath, on Saturday, Haskell said “the magnitude of the storm became more apparent, we received numerous please for assistance in helping town residents pump out flooded basements.” At that time, the department deployed four additional teams of firefighters above the usual number on duty for the response.

Haskell said the additional firefighters were needed to investigate neighborhoods for hazards, assist in town cleanup efforts and pump out flooded basements.

On Sunday, additional firefighters remained on duty to finish pumping out flooded basements. While clean up efforts wind down, Haskell warned residents to stay away from down power lines.

“Though they may appear harmless they should be treated as if they are electrified,” said Haskell.

In total, the department responded to 216 emergency calls as of Sunday afternoon, Haskell reported.