Maine Forest Rangers Return From Helping In Sandy Recovery Efforts 

A group of Maine Forest Rangers, one Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy and a communications specialist from Maine arrived in New York four days after super storm Sandy devastated the area.Even the sights they’d seen on television didn’t prepare them for a situation that was worse than anything they had ever seen. “We got there late afternoon. It was almost like the apocalypse had occurred,” said Maine Forest Ranger Kent Nelson. “There were cars that had been washed up into each other and sometimes overturned by the storm surge. The presence of the National Guard and the police were everywhere, everyone scurrying about before dark because there was no power, no light.”The crew from Maine spent much of their time working with New York City officials, doing health and wellness checks on around 21,000 very grateful residents of Coney Island. “Even walking down the street we got comments like, ‘Hey thanks for being here and helping us out.’ Of course we got the question, ‘What is a Maine Forest Ranger doing in New York City?'”Before the crew left they were given coins by the head of New York’s Office of Emergency Management, a token of thanks for making a nearly impossible situation a little easier. “These folks were overwhelmed when we arrived. They hadn’t had any sleep for 3 or 4 days,” Nelson said. “They just needed some help and we were glad to provide that. I’m sure if the tables were turned, if we had a disaster like this in Maine, they would come up and help us as well.”By the time the Maine crew headed home they could see a city that had just taken a haymaker from Mother Nature was starting to pull itself up off the mat. “We saw the power coming on. There was still the military and the police presence everywhere, and when we saw a Dunkin Donuts open we were like, ‘Oh, things are getting better.'”