When the 1991 Halloween nor'easter — the "Perfect Storm" — swept up the coast of New England 20 years ago, Ruben Colon was 13, living in San Juan, Puerto Rico, far away from Maine's coastal waters.
Now, as a boat coxswain for the Coast Guard, he knows that when the next big storm occurs, he and his crew will be on the front line, saving lives and property.
"We're a heavy weather station," Colon said of his Coast Guard Station South Portland. "That's what we do."
In another anniversary story by a local paper, the Watertown Daily News of upstate New York interviewed a Coast Guard veteran who participated in the storm response.
“Harrowing craziness. That’s the only way I can explain it,” Shawn D. Sullivan told the newspaper.
Sullivan and the 80-man crew aboard the Coast Guard cutter Tamaroa were right in the middle of it.