April 07, 2020

Disaster Area> National Guard; Units go door to door in Calais area

CALAIS — Members of the Maine National Guard’s 1st/152nd Field Artillery have been in the Calais area since Sunday. A second contingent from Caribou arrived Tuesday and will leave for Edmunds early this morning.

The nearly 100 men and women will be going house to house checking on the condition of residents. They also will help clean up fallen debris left behind by the ice storm.

The worst ice storm to pound the Down East area in a century encased trees and homes in a tomb of ice, and it continues to leave thousands of residents without power and water.

Lt. Todd Ellis has been here since Sunday and he said Guard members have helped communities from Calais south to the Perry-Pembroke line. He said members of the unit assisted residents, visited shelters and helped clean up fallen debris. He said most members of his unit Tuesday were in Dennysville and Pembroke.

Capt. Jack Mosher of Caribou said he would take the second contingent to Edmunds today and would help communities from Edmunds south.

“These guys are from Team Aroostook and they are coming down to join in operation Ice Guard which is a statewide mission …[and] recovery effort,” he said.

Ellis said there have been a number of moving stories. He said one soldier related visiting the home of a woman who had recently lost her husband. He said she and her sons needed help cleaning up debris scattered around the yard. “They went and helped her out and brought her water,” he said.

He said another soldier related a story about a blind man who needed help. “I had three of the guys out and they came across this one area and saw the trees down and saw a driveway. … It was quite a long driveway. They knocked on the door and there was a fellow in there who was blind. …They brought him in a bunch of water and made sure his wood stove was going,” Ellis said.

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