WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — Connecticut municipal workers are crossing the Rhode Island state line to help neighboring Westerly clean up from Superstorm Sandy.
The Day of New London reports (http://bit.ly/QROANE ) that Stonington, Conn., public works employees volunteered their time on Thursday to collect brush at the Misquamicut Beach area. They were due to return on Friday with a dump truck, wood chipper and truck.
Also helping in the cleanup were the Rhode Island towns of Lincoln, Johnston and North Providence. Stonington and Westerly, separated by a state line, have formed a working relationship.
‘‘We’re very appreciative,’’ said Peter Chiaradio, Westerly’s public works superintendent. ‘‘The towns have a great working relationship and I feel it starts right at the top with the selectmen and town manager. We've worked together on other projects, like bridge work, so we’re familiar.’’
Stonington Public Works Director Joe Bragaw said the town has responded to numerous requests for mutual aid in the last few years.
‘‘They had a lot of devastation down by Misquamicut, so we’re just trying to help them out,’’ he said. ‘‘Even though we’re still cleaning up, we knew there was a neighbor in need.’’
The Stonington crew arrived at 7:30 a.m. and worked until 3 p.m., removing brush, turning it into wood chips and transporting the chips to the Westerly transfer station.
Chiaradio said the help is particularly welcome because he’s racing against a deadline established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to finish the work. After a certain time period, FEMA no longer reimburses the town for Sandy-related work, he said.
A contractor helped clear sand from roads. Atlantic Avenue, which once was covered by several feet of sand, has been cleared.
Private properties are using their own contractors, Chiaradio said, and the town removes storm-related debris that residents place curbside.