RPT Lends a hand in Cannon Falls
Rochester Public Transit pitched in to the Cannon Falls relief effort in over the weekend. After last week's damaging storms, a state of emergency was declared as much of the city was without power. Residents of The Gardens nursing home were evacuated that morning to local hospitals and Cannon Falls High School which was serving as a temporary shelter.
“We got the call Friday around 1 o’clock from the City of Rochester Director of Emergency Management, Ken Jones, that some residents were being relocated to Centennial Gardens in Richfield and they needed transportation.” Said Tony Knauer, Transit and Parking Manager for the City. “We immediately began arranging for vehicles and staff.”
By about 6 P.M., three fully accessible ZIPS paratransit vehicles left the RPT garage along with an accessible van. When they arrived at the high school, 17 seniors—four ambulatory and 13 using wheelchairs, were waiting to be transported to the Twin Cities suburb for accommodations better suited to meet their needs.
First Transit Road Supervisor Tabitha Miller described the scene, “People were thankful to see us, and the folks being transported were in good spirits for the most part.” Along with Miller, two other First Transit road supervisors and a driver assisted in the effort, arriving back in Rochester after midnight on Saturday morning.
“Our substantial fleet of well-maintained and fully-accessible vehicles is a great resource during emergencies, whether it’s our community or one nearby that needs the help,” According to Jim Baldwin, General Manager of First Transit in Rochester. “We are ready and willing to assist when situations like this arise.”