Berlin, Pines offer hurricane relief
BERLIN/OCEAN PINES – Representatives from Berlin government and the Ocean Pines Association are providing relief in their own way to areas devastated two weeks ago by Hurricane Sandy.
According to Tony Carson, town administrator of Berlin, Public Works Director Mike Gibbons led a team to Crisfield, about an hour away from town, on Thursday and Friday.
Crisfield, on the Chesapeake side of Somerset County, was hit much harder by the storm than the Berlin area.
"The entire town was about 3 feet underwater. It was a disaster," said Rick Lord, foreman at the Public Works department of Crisfield.
Lord said Berlin, along with other municipalities, helped repair a major drainage issue. Once that was fixed, workers stayed for hours picking up debris from the streets such as boards and tree limbs.
"We didn't expect it, they just came," said Lord, who mentioned multiple institutions – including the Eastern Correctional Institution – are helping with the Crisfield rebuilding effort that is about one-third of the way complete.
Though Berlin representatives were only in Crisfield for two days, the gesture will not be forgotten by the people who live there.
"We just want them to know it's a two-way street. We're here for them if they need us," Lord said.
While Berlin is doing what it can to provide relief, the OPA has initiated a major donation effort.
As of Nov. 1, drop-off stations were set up at the Ocean Pines Community Center, Public Works building, Sports Core Pool, Administration Building and Police Department.
"Our goal is to raise enough items to provide a tractor-trailer load of organized relief from one coastal community to another," said a press release sent by Teresa Travatello, OPA director of marketing and public relations.
Suggested items are nonperishable foods, games, books and warm clothing. Toiletries are also needed, including toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste and hand sanitizers.
Gift cards will be accepted as well, but cash or check donations are not allowed. If a gift card is being donated, organizers recommend dropping it at the Administration Building or the police department.
Travatello said a location for relief has not yet been determined, but the town or towns that will receive these donations will be selected by need and ability to make contact. According to Travatello, the New Jersey area is a likely destination.
All donated items must be collected by Thursday, Nov. 15.
Shelby Trucking and Construction from Selbyville, Del. has volunteered to drive the tractor-trailer to its destination, and First State Packaging Inc. from Salisbury will cover costs of shipping and collection.
For more information about the OPA disaster relief effort, call 410-641-7717, visit one of the drop-off locations or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.