The City of Portsmouth Failed. Many Suffered
The City of Portsmouth failed the citizens and visitors on Christmas Eve. Local First Responders were inundated with calls of vehicles that had wrecked, were stranded, or simply abandoned by the owners after they had slid off the road and called for a family member to come and rescue them.
In the recording, you can hear for yourself the frustration and surprise of law enforcement and emergency personnel.
This weather event was not a surprise. It was forecast days in advance and we even played a live radar stream on our SCDN social media to inform the public of what was heading our way.
Even though ODOT and the Village of New Boston were more prepared, as we showed on the ODOT cameras from around our area, all of the roads were in poor condition. However, to be at the end of December and not have plows installed on the very vehicles that are supposed to be equipped with plows makes one question what is going on with Portsmouth City Services.
Well over 100 wrecks occurred within a 12-hour time span. The financial impact is almost incalculable. Families who were doing their best, during the worst year since the pandemic during World War I, were welcome to back home to find their beloved town had simply forgotten them. Report without bias. Tell the truth without compromise. There is no other way to explain it. The city of Portsmouth did not prepare and the citizens suffered immeasurably.
This lack of preparedness not only affected the residents and the visitors but made the tasks of wonderful police, emergency workers, tow truck drivers, etc. nearly impossible as they tried to navigate the treacherous streets and roads. After we first reported this issue on our social media, a truck was quickly equipped with a plow. However, it was not lowered. It seemed that the truck was just driving around like a mobile billboard to discount the “rumors” that there were no plows in use.
As people begin to return home from the holiday, some have to leave their cars behind due to damage or pay hefty fees to retrieve them from various tow yards and impound lots. Some have questioned if the city of Portsmouth bears some responsibility due to the negligence of the City Services Department. The injuries, property damage, unexpected costs, will certainly be examined by many attorneys.
So many lives were impacted in such a short amount of time by the decisions of just a few people. Those people need to be held to account. Those people need to be remembered when it’s time to vote. Those people need to stand up and apologize to all of the First Responders and the hundreds of citizens and visitors that were impacted by their negligence.