Flood emergency efforts earn kudos

By Seth Schmidt

Tracy city council members expressed gratitude for the emergency responses of Tracy firemen, public works employees, and police and ambulance personnel in the wake of the July 3 deluge and flooding.

“They all did an amazing job,” said Mayor Pam Cooreman, at Monday night’s city council meeting. ”Thank you to everyone.”

Councilman Tony Peterson called the efforts of emergency responders extraordinary.  His voice breaking with emotion, the councilman, a Navy veteran, said he was especially thankful that four public works and fire department members and fireman got up at 7 a.m. on Wednesday to put up American flags along Hwy. 14 and downtown for the Fourth of July holiday.  This took place, he said, even though those individuals had worked late the previous night dealing with the emergency.

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Police Chief Jason Lichty praised the response of firemen and public works employees after the flood.  Some responders, he said, were out helping stem the flood, even while their own homes were inundated.

“It was a bad situation, but it could have been worse.”

Lichty also thanked local businesses that helped out with equipment, materials, and labor, as well as individuals who simply showed up as volunteers. He also expressed gratitude for the multiple agencies and businesses from outside Tracy who came to Tracy’s assistance.

Fire Chief Dale Johnson III  complimented police.  He added that he felt that the coordination among local agencies was outstanding.  The fire chief said that he, Police Chief Lichty, Public Works Director Shane Daniels, and City Administrator Kris Ambuehl seldom saw one another over the two-day period, but each always knew what the other was doing.

He singled out Ambuehl for a special kudo.

At 6:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, Johnson said, the new city administrator was out in the rain in full fireman’s turnout gear by a manhole helping pump sewage from an overloaded main.

“That was totally impressive,” Johnson said.  After helping with boots-on-the-ground flood relief operations on Tuesday, Johnson said Ambuehl “was in his office all day on the Fourth of July.”