Tiny town is ‘big’ on thanks

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 15, 2003

SEVERN – As it is with so many small towns, Severn is a loveable little hamlet where residents enjoy the quiet life off the normal beaten path.

However, small town life does have it drawbacks. Topping that list is the fact that tiny towns are often aligned to the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to aid following a natural disaster.

When Hurricane Isabel unleashed her fury on the Roanoke-Chowan area on Sept.18, Severn took a big hit. The town’s stately old trees and homes took a pounding from the winds, causing widespread damage and power outages. Due to its location in the northeastern corner of Northampton County, tucked just below the state line, the return to some measure of normalcy appeared to the weeks, perhaps months, away for Severn’s 263 citizens.

&uot;When we’ve lost electrical service in past storms, we were always the last to be restored because we’re at the end of the line,&uot; said Carol Ferguson, Severn’s Town Clerk. &uot;When we saw just how badly our town was damaged during Isabel, we just knew we were in for a long, long wait.&uot;

As things turned out, Severn’s wait wasn’t as long as anticipated.

&uot;Actually, we were very surprised just how quickly that the majority of our residents had their power restored,&uot; noted Ferguson. &uot;Given the severity of the damage, we were all amazed that it didn’t take as long as we expected. They (Dominion Power) did a wonderful job.&uot;

During an Oct. 6 meeting of the Severn Town Commissioners, they adopted a resolution in praise of the efforts by those responsible for returning electrical power to the town in such an efficient manner. That resolution reads as follows:

&uot;Whereas, Hurricane Isabel arriving on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2003 with hurricane force winds and rain, causing destruction throughout the eastern portion of our state, and;

&uot;Whereas, The high volume of trees blown across power lines resulted in broken power poles, lines, transformers and sub stations, and;

&uot;Whereas, The visible infrastructure of our power source was severely compromised, and;

&uot;Whereas, The restoration of service appeared to be weeks away with all the destruction, and;

&uot;Whereas, Dominion North Carolina Power employees worked tirelessly during and after the event, brining in repair crews from within and without the state to assist with the restoration, and;

&uot;Whereas, The power was restored to our community sooner than was anticipated.

&uot;Now, therefore, let it be resolved, The Town of Severn wishes to extend our grateful appreciation to all the employees of Dominion North Carolina Power and to all the assisting work crews for their dedication and hard work in restoring power to our community.&uot;

Severn Mayor George McGee signed the resolution of appreciation with the blessings of Town Commissioners Harold Garris, George Francis, Parker Watson, Frank Ferguson and Ellie Martin along with Town Manager M.E. Lassiter.

A copy of the resolution was sent to the town’s local supervisor, J.D. Allan, as well as copies sent to Dominion North Carolina Power and to the news media.