Hurricane Sandy has affected parks in all three regions along the East Coast. In order to provide assistance and support to these areas, the Eastern Incident Management Team staged in Hagerstown, Maryland, on Monday evening, and is now preparing to move to the New York Harbor area, possibly after the New York marathon this Sunday. The Midwest Incident Management Team has joined them and will also be heading to New York.
Over 100 NPS employees have so far been committed to this response. As of Wednesday morning, 30 team members were at the ICP in Hagerstown. Another 45 were en route, including the Southeast Region’s special events team, a saw team from Sequoia-Kings Canyon, three CISM teams, 23 FMSS specialists, the Park Police helicopter “Eagle II” with flight crew, and one air operations manager. Another 20 people had been deployed in the affected area to begin gathering information and start work where possible. They were located at Fire Island, Gateway, and Morristown and included members of the Cumberland Gap and Northeast Region saw teams and the employee assistance team leader.
The USPP New York Field Office has delegated authority to the Eastern IMT and provided a liaison to the team’s command staff. A Park Police branch director has also been assigned to the general staff under the operations section chief.
The team will begin work once delegations of authority are in hand from affected areas and assessments have been completed in order to determine needed resources. IC Zeph Cunningham closed the Wednesday evening organizational meeting by emphasizing that the team’s top goal is employee assistance.
Parks included in the delegation and currently closed are the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, Gateway, Governors Island, African Burial Ground, the six units of Manhattan Sites, Sagamore Hill, Fire Island, Morristown, and Thomas Edison.