Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mercer County death from Irene was a lawyer

The Princeton first aider who died from injuries sustained in an attempted rescue off Rosedale Road was a lawyer.
See Princeton first-aider dies from injuries sustained in water rescue . Michael Kenwood was the first reported death in Mercer County from Hurricane Irene.

Kenwood's death was reported prematurely by NJ Governor Christie [ Christie's handling of hurricane helped him polish image : his announcement of the Princeton Township rescue worker's death on Sunday was premature ]

WSJ online reported on Hamilton Township, NJ:

In Hamilton Township, around 100 residents along the Assunpink Creek evacuated their houses as flood levels rose above basement levels and water streamed through first floors. Mayor John Bencivengo estimated 10 people had been rescued by rowboats.

The tops of mailboxes and stop signs stood like flood gauges in the water. Some residents went fishing in the new lakes that had formed in place of their lawns. "I need a net," announced Victor Metelow, 69, as he spotted a fish darting by his porch.

But humor concealed devastation: Mr. Metelow, a retired machinist, made honey from 4,000 bees on his property.

"The bees are dead," he said, as he waded toward his shed.

Scott Pelley and CBS Evening News covered two national guard trucks driving (mostly underwater) down the main street of Manville, NJ at the intersection of JFK Blvd.

***The Princeton Packet had noted:

A member of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad (PFARS) remains in critical condition in the hospital Sunday. A report from Gov. Chris Christie stating a Princeton firefighter died during a rescue operation early this morning is false.

PFRAS was dispatched after a report of a stranded motor vehicle in flood waters near Rosedale Road by Greenway Meadows Park at 4:35 a.m.

"(The rescuers) had a reason to believe there may still have been an occupant in the vehicle," said Greg Paulson, deputy director of the 75-member volunteer squad. "Two swiftwater rescue technicians entered the water and began to move toward the vehicle. As they were moving forward, they were assessing the condition of the current and they decided the current was too strong for them to continue safely."

The rescuers turned around and one of them took a fall, said Mr. Paulson.

"The way it works with flood rescue is two rescuers are tied together with a tether line anchored on the shore, so when the one rescuer fell, it made the other one fall," he explained. "They were swept by the current into an area of trees and during that process they became detached from their tether line. One of the two rescuers was able to self-rescue to a tree that was there, the other rescuer was carried down by the current where he was pulled out by our backup rescue team that was waiting down current."

A backup team is standard practice for such swiftwater rescue, Mr. Paulson said.

**From the Asbury Park Press:

Gov. Chris Christie wrongly reported Sunday that the EMT had already died. He later apologized for having received bad information.


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