By Brenda Maguire
NEW BRITAIN — While most people in the region spent their Sunday avoiding the deluge of Tropical Storm Irene, two city teenagers saw the storm as an opportunity to do some good.
Jessy Matthews, 18, and Lewis Sacco, 17, spent the afternoon cleaning up Fairview Cemetery, which Irene had left littered with branches, debris and leaves.
When the two friends noticed that the rain had let up and the skies were clearing, they decided it was safe to leave their homes.
“We just wanted to check after the hurricane to see what the town looked like,” Matthews said.
Sacco had wanted to help clean up any damage from the storm, but when he didn’t find any he decided to go to the cemetery, which is on Smalley Street, to visit the gravesite of his friend, Michael Anthony Ortiz, who died a month ago.
Matthews was going to visit the grave of his grandfather and other family members.
The two spent about two and a half hours clearing the cemetery. Matthews tried to pick up one tree, but it was too heavy for him to lift, so they moved on to lighter ones.
“There were ones we could move,” Sacco said. “There were some big ones we moved and puny ones.”
“Me and Jessy just thought it was important to help those who needed it in the community,” Sacco said.
Matthews added, “Our advice is if you see anyone who needs help, help them.”