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Everyone Has a Story: Cable technician braved storm so Long Beach Island could weather it

Comcast technician Pete Imler spent the three days leading up to Hurricane Sandy alone on Long Beach Island, preparing equipment for the storm and keeping communications going for emergency responders as long as possible.

“I was physically alone but in constant communication with both our people at Comcast and with the police,” he said. “I never felt alone.”

He was evacuated by emergency personnel at 4 p.m the day Sandy hit.

The Garden State Parkway was closed, so he couldn’t get home to Cape May Court House. He convinced a full hotel in Toms River to give him a room that was under renovation.

“All I need is a place to take a shower and put my head,” he told the manager.

The next day, police took him back to Long Beach Island, through high water and around debris, on a military truck.

Then it was 10 days of restoring and maintaining communications to federal, state and local emergency management teams; and to local government, police and fire departments.

He checked in with his wife, Eve, once a day, to let her and sons Jim, 23; Joe, 22; and Mike, 21, know he was OK.

“What really impressed me about this whole thing is a lot of people I worked with lost a lot. One guy lived in (Mystic Islands in) Little Egg Harbor and lost everything,” said Imler, whose own home escaped damage. “But he showed up for work ready to go. It was something to see.”

Imler recently won Comcast’s highest honor at a national awards ceremony.

Dog Day Afternoon

Francesca Lanfranchi, 17, of Egg Harbor Township, plans to be a veterinarian and works at Shore Veterinarians North in her hometown. She will host her final Dog Day Afternoon fundraiser at the Bonefish Grill in Egg Harbor Township from noon to 3 p.m. Aug. 16.

The fundraiser benefits Beacon Animal Rescue in Ocean View, Dennis Township.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for kids, and include lunch. Call 609-442-9353 or email strutformutts@aol.com.

Lanfranchi, a junior at Holy Spirit High School, has raised more than $40,000 for the organization since 2006.

Top superintendent nominee

Folsom Superintendent Robert Garguilo, who retires July 1, has been named a semifinalist for the 2013 National Superintendent of the Year award by the National Association of School Superintendents.

Garguilo is known for implementing the New Jersey Interdistrict Public School Choice Program, and continues to serve as the chairman of the board of directors for the state program, the NASS said.

 

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