Bob Reid was one of the first elected African American mayors in Pennsylvania. He was in office for a year when he received a phone call that there were concerns at Three Mile Island.
“I was a working hall duty ar the high school when I was told there was an issue,” said Reid, “but I was told there were no injuries and everything was under control.”
Reid says after he received a second call, things changed forever in Middletown and the surrounding region.
“We were told that there had been a leak,” said Reid, “and things took off from there.”
Reid says there was constant contact with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and local officials, but things got more serious the next day.
“Concerns started to grow,” said Reid. “Pregnant women and children were told to evacuate.”
Sharon True grew up in the region, but she was living in upstate New York when the accident happened. While a voluntary evacuation was taking place, she decided to come into the region.
“We were coming in for a special celebration,” said True. “I spoke to a retired colonel and I asked how are things, and he said no big deal, come on in.”
Sharon stayed the weekend, and they went back home.
Reid said during the evacuation, he had to deal with the concerns at Three Mile Island and the threat of looting.
“I told my police officers that anyone caught looting should be shot, said Reid, “I could not believe that people would take advantage of our residents who worked hard for all that they owned.”
Reid says that his orders gained national attention, but more importantly, no looting took place.