Prisoners headed to Port Deposit to clean up flood's mess

A team of state prisoners is headed to the Cecil County town of Port Deposit to help clean up the mud and mess left behind from last week's flood, a state lawmaker said Tuesday.

During a meeting about prisons in Baltimore, State Sen. Nancy Jacobs, a Republican who represents Harford and Cecil counties, said she asked Gary Maynard, the state's secretary of Public Safety & Correctional Services, for help with cleaning up the mess made by the flooding Susquehanna River.

Maynard agreed, Jacobs said, and will be sending out a 7-man crew of "fully supervised" inmates within the next 24 to 48 hours.

"They'll work a 10-hour day; they will aid the town and they will be a tremendous help," Jacobs said. "We still have homes that are not yet occupied."

Rick Binetti, a spokesman for the prison system, said Maynard offered assistance to the state's counties before Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee and inmates helped fill sandbags in Baltimore prior to the storms.

Binetti said the offer was "out there for any municipality .. and Senator Jacobs took DPSCS up on its offer to help."

Port Deposit, a town of 800, was one of the Maryland towns that suffered the most damage following the heavy rains and flooding last week caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. Damage included wet basements, loss of power and debris.

The Susquehanna River peaked Friday at 32.4 feet — its third-highest level recorded since the Conowingo Dam was built.

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