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St. Augustine Public Works Helps Tallahassee Recover From Hurricane Hermine

Martha Graham
St. Augustine Public Works
Workers from St. Augustine set up a temporary pump in Tallahassee over the weekend.

Florida’s capital county, Leon, was among the hardest hit by Friday’s Hurricane Hermine, and the city of St. Augustine was among the communities that heeded its call for help over the Labor Day Weekend.

There was no rest for a crew of five St. Augustine utility workers over the holiday weekend as they were dispatched to help Tallahassee get its sewer pumping stations back online. City Public Works Director Martha Graham also sent two trucks, two temporary pumps, a van and a van mechanic.

“And they got home last night and were back at work for the city this morning,” she said Tuesday.  

Graham says the St. Augustine workers learned lessons in Tallahassee that could help prevent the same level of destruction during storms at home.  For one, the Tallahassee pump stations lost power mainly because of downed trees.  

“And I think that, probably, taking a look around our pump stations and the health of the trees in the neighboring areas would be an effort that we should inspect,” she said.

She says in addition to helping her workers practice storm response, the aid exchange program helps ensure other communities will return the favor if a bad storm ever hits Northeast Florida.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP