After the Storm: Mayor Keil pens letter to the community

To the community:
We’ve got so much to be thankful for right now.

Thank God for allowing us to dodge the proverbial bullet. Yes, there were some trees and fences down, and people lost power for a while, but for the most part, we came out of the storm in great shape. 

The nightmare of a repeat of 1998 never happened. Thank God.

But… we were ready. By mid-week, our joint city/county EOC (emergency operations center) was already monitoring the storm and reports from state and federal agencies. Resources were inventoried, potential scenarios were plotted, personnel were allocated, and everyone was in full readiness.

What I witnessed over the weekend was an incredibly competent group of professionals going about their business in a way that should make us all proud.

I think everyone in Guadalupe County should be proud and appreciative of the way the county and the city first responders work together to keep us safe. Pat Pinder, our county Emergency Management Coordinator, got very little sleep over the weekend. He and his staff were literally camped out in the EOC for several days. Our city Emergency Coordinator, Greg Dreiss was also there for much of that time.

I was included in all the first responder briefings, and I can tell you that our Fire, Police, and Sheriff’s departments are some of the best in the business, and the level of cooperation was indeed impressive.

Keeping the citizenry informed with accurate information during these events is vital, and our city Public Information Officer, Morgan Ash was the conduit for all the information that flowed from the EOC. Morgan posted on Facebook, Twitter, websites, and press releases.  She covered everything - road closures, power outages, evacuation information, and every other thing imaginable. She held countless on-air interviews with regional and national media, and kept everyone so completely informed, that I didn’t get a single call for an interview!

The guys with the most dangerous jobs, our electric utility linemen and technicians, were busy throughout the storm keeping the power on throughout the city. They worked around the clock in horrific conditions to keep the lights on.

Our city communications dispatchers did a magnificent job of fielding the flood of calls that accompany these kinds of situations.

Our public works department was out clearing fallen trees, and clearing debris from the streets, all with the wind howling around them.

Now that it’s all over, it’s not really over. We still have limbs and debris to clear, and bring the city back to normal.

I just really wanted you folks to know what a well-run city we have here.  Obviously, we are not perfect, and sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned.  However, our City Manager, Doug Faseler, and his staff are true professionals, and did a magnificent job of keeping the city running during a very difficult time.

Now it’s time for prayers and aid for our fellow Texans not so fortunate as we.

Don Keil
City of Seguin