When the first tornado of the season struck Grove City, members of AFSCME Local 1116 were on the job after the storm’s 105 mph winds tore a 2.6-mile strip through the city of 40,000 southwest of Columbus.
“There was no shortage of city workers in the Service Department who volunteered to help. Our crews jumped in and cleared fallen trees, blocked off streets and replaced traffic signs so utility company crews could safely get to work getting the power back on,” said AFSCME Local 1116 President Sean Gabriel.
The April 3 storm tore off roofs, downed trees and damaged more than 30 utility poles, which knocked out power to 8,500 Grove City-area residents.
Several people were stuck on city streets because live power lines were in contact with their vehicles. The last was freed more than five hours after the tornado struck.
“Everyone in the Service Department had a job to do, including our members in Parks and Recreation, who joined in the tree and debris cleanup work. It just shows that AFSCME members never quit,” Gabriel said.