They’ve helped clear about 600 miles of road in six counties since the beginning of the storms that downed countless trees and for a time left the entire town in the dark.
But now, the 26 teams of 20-person crews managed by Northern Rockies Incident Management Team have removed brush and felled trees and downed poles and otherwise cleared roads so that emergency responders could have a clear path to do their jobs are heading home.
The team, which has headquartered for a week at the Glendola Firehouse sub-station on Industrial Way, are wrapping up operations and heading back to Big Sky country, leaving behind grateful Wall Township officials.
The team, based in Montana, has been in town for more than a week, and was charged with helping free up municipal and emergency workers by clearing roads. Monday was their last work day in the area and workers will be gone by week’s end, officials said.
“It’s unbelievable the amount of work these guys could get done,’’ said Robert Hendrickson, head of Public Works. “I can’t thank them enough.’’
Hendrickson said he and DPW crews worked side by side with the Incident Management Team members to power through the town’s roads.
“We all came together and worked as one,’’ Hendrickson said.
A management crew, based out of the Glendola fire sub-station, coordinated the efforts of the more than two dozen crews spread out throughout Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Mercer, Somerset, and Burlington counties, according to Pat McKelvey, management team spokesman.
“We come in here and we say ‘What do you want it to look like when we’re done?’’’ said Rick Seidlitz, deputy incident commander. “We know how to order things in, we’ll get the batteries, the gas, we manage it all.’’
Sgt. Joseph Wilbert, deputy director of Wall’s Office of Emergency Management, heaped praise on the team Monday, calling their work “exemplary.’’
“They will be greatly missed,’’ Wilbert said.