The following is from the Middlesex Sheriff's office.
A microburst ripped through East Arlington Wednesday evening, pulling up trees and causing damage throughout the area. The town immediately called on the Middlesex Sheriff’s office’s community works program to assist in their effort.
“The power of this storm created a public works nightmare for the town and its residents,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutuojian, who was on hand to view the damage. “The program exists for situations like this one and our office stands ready to help.”
"Once again the Middlesex Sheriff’s office helps us out in a critical time," said Arlington Housing Authority Commissioner Gaar Talanian. "Wednesday night the storm caused a lot of damage. We are thankful to have the community works program under [Koutoujian].”
Inmates are helping take away downed branches and clear debris for the day to assist in the cleanup.
The community works program is comprised of minimum-security inmates who are nearing the end of their sentences and being supervised by a correctional officer. Inmates go through a screening process and must earn the privilege before being allowed to participate in the program.
The Arlington Housing Authority has used the program's crews in the past to help with several town projects. Arlington Housing Authority Executive Director John Griffin estimated that the program has saved the town more than $50,000 this year alone, and more than $1.5 million in total savings for Middlesex County communities.