Michael Torrissi Jr.
Perspective/ Torrissi in Trenton
Sometimes you just have to step outside your normal routine; do something you’re not used to doing. In this month’s column, I’m going to put Trenton and New Jersey politics on the backburner and head south, much like all you snowbirds from Jersey who do the same this time of year.
We’ve all seen the videos online and read the news of Florida’s devastating Hurricane Ian. I wanted to share what I was able to see for myself - great government in action and thousands of people that stepped out of their routine to go and help out.
Once the hurricane abated, my company, Torrissi Transport, did what it normally does — we hauled gasoline in Florida. Except this time, the stakes were higher and the truckers and workers were not afforded the normal comforts an average workday would provide.
We started right away, delivering jet fuel for Coast Guard helicopters and planes in Florida. While in Lee County, Florida, I witnessed the Lee County Fairgrounds become home to hundreds of utility trucks and first responders in need of gassing up.
While trucking is never an easy job by any stretch of the imagination, working out of disaster relief centers kicks it up a notch. We had so many amazing and selfless people from New Jersey and Pennsylvania go down to Florida to work for a couple weeks while sleeping on a cot in a tent without air conditioning.
While the workers, community members and local volunteers of the state all came together, the quickness of government was also impressive. I saw Governor Ron DeSantis kick into action and get a bridge to Pine Island rebuilt in three days. They rebuilt an entire major highway bridge - the Sanibel Causeway - in a month’s time. It was remarkable. It shows what Americans are truly capable of when acting with conviction.
Juxtapose that with some of the horror stories you hear about government and infrastructure, and it was quite a sight to behold. While they were building bridges, the Democrats running Burlington County wasted a $10 million road paving grant from the state because they couldn’t agree on who to award the contract to. Imagine not paving a single road throughout an entire summer and fall with $10 million in taxpayer money while other government agencies are building bridges in a weekend?
But I’ll get off my soapbox because I promised I’d drop New Jersey politics for a month and talk about something outside of my routine.
I’m thankful I can be in a place to help people with my business, but I’m more thankful to the people of Florida for their resiliency and hospitality in the face of great adversity.
Michael Torrissi Jr.