County executive Ed FitzGerald stood at a makeshift podium Friday at the corner of Lake Road and Cove Avenue in front of more than a half-dozen TV cameras to reassure county residents that the relief and cleanup effort is well under way.
FitzGerald, the former mayor of Lakewood, was flanked by current Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers and Cuyahoga County Sheriff Bob Reid as well as other county officials.
“This is the first major weather incident that the new county government has really tried to deal with,” said FitzGerald, who is also a Lakewood resident.
Just steps away from the press conference were several energy company employees working to repair the wreckage from Superstorm Sandy.
Just hours before, Lake Road had reopened after five days of being closed between Nicholson and Cove avenues.
During the time of the press conference, there were still about 6,000 Lakewood residents without power — including a number of businesses and organizations.
“This has been frustrating,” he added. “We’ve been encouraging FirstEnergy to move as quickly as they can.”
He also talked about plans for a new, “state-of-the-art” emergency operations center, and talked about the resources currently available — including the American Red Cross shelter at Garfield Middle School.
“We don’t want people to think there’s not help,” FitzGerald said. “If people have dire circumstances, let us know. We have four shelters for people to go to.”