Supervisor's Column

Winter Storm Brings Out the Best in Irondequoit Residents

Week of March 27, 2017

 Seeley Headshot
David A. Seeley
 Town of Irondequoit
 1280 Titus Avenue
 Rochester, New York 14617
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There is not one person in Irondequoit, or Monroe County for that matter, who is grateful for the once-in-a-generation fury that Mother Nature recently brought us. The wind storm levied millions of dollars in damage to property in Irondequoit, destroyed homes and threatened the wellbeing of many of our residents.

We can’t control the weather. What we can control is our sense of humanity. During all of the adversity, it was so very heartwarming to witness the people of Irondequoit once again demonstrate why we are a strong community. Actions always speak louder than words, and our actions projected to the outside world an image of compassion, perseverance and dedicated to community. I’d like to share a few reflections of those several days which are now imprinted in my mind. Here is how you, the people of Irondequoit, rose to the occasion.

You looked out for one another. Our newly-formed neighborhood associations used their networks to help those affected by the storm. You offered shelter, food, a warm place to charge phones – sometimes, to people you barely knew. When the Town Supervisor hastily organized an impromptu effort to check up on our elderly neighbors, you showed up by the dozens, ready to help. Our businesses helped provide a hot meal to many who were without. Our school districts opened their doors.

You demonstrated appreciation for those working to put Irondequoit out of harm’s way. Whether it was the DPW employee working around the clock, the National Guard member coming in to lend a hand or the utility worker working under dangerous conditions to restore power, you made it a point show that these efforts are not taken for granted. When everything had settled down, the Friday after the snow storm, I was confronted by an out-of-town power line worker, a man who hadn’t been with his family for days. This individual simply wanted the Town Supervisor to know that he would never forget the warmth and kindness that was shown to him by the people of the town (with the hard-to-pronounce name).

You proved that human connection is a powerful force. Our library, the new unofficial center of Irondequoit, served as a gathering place for residents young and old. These daytime shelters, or “warming stations,” weren’t simply a place to warm up or grab a bite to eat. They were a place where strangers found commonality; where those old enough to remember the ’91 ice storm debated about which event was worse. Technology has made the world smaller, and perhaps connected us more than ever. Yet, during this state of emergency, a simple conversation could warm the heart.

The good I saw in our community wasn’t an anomaly; I see it every day. Yet, when it is juxtaposed against the very tumultuous context that we found ourselves in earlier for several days, it convinces you that the town you live in has a strong human bedrock.

View more of Supervisor David Seeley's columns by clicking here.