When the great water crisis of 2010 came, the town of Winthrop was ready to handle the emergency situation well. Much of the credit for Winthrop’s excellent response to the emergency must go to Fire Chief Paul Flanagan, who upon hearing of the ruptured water pipe in Weston, sprung quickly into action in his other major role as the town’s emergency management director.
Chief Flanagan was in immediate contact with MEMA (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency) and soon was enacting plans for the distribution of water to thousands of Winthrop residents. Chief Flanagan rounded up the troops and Winthrop dealt with the crisis in as seamless a fashion as possible.
As is his nature, Chief Flanagan credited others for helping Winthrop residents proceed with their daily lives as normally as possible. Flanagan’s colleagues in the Fire Department, the Police Department, the Department of Public Works, Town Manager James McKenna, and the incredibly efficient Medical Reserve Corps, led by Councilor Jeanne Maggio, also rose to the occasion when the town needed people to lead it through an unprecedented situation.
Flanagan also made sure that the school day on Monday could proceed without interruption, delivering water and hand sanitizers to the schools throughout the town. And so too, were the needs of some of our seniors, who were unable to get to the store or the water distribution area adjacent to Winthrop High School, similarly addressed efficiently and professionally throughout the weekend until the crisis ended Tuesday.
We commend Chief Paul Flanagan and all those individuals who helped us through a difficult and challenging situation. It’s good to know that Winthrop has experienced leaders ready to step forward for the town at a moment’s notice.