Sunday, September 4, 2011

9/4/11 Recovery Update

Information can also be posted on the Cavendish VT Facebook Page

Great job last night Cavendish players for entertaining the town and National Guard and for providing a much needed break for those cleaning up their homes and the many who have served our town for seven straight days. What a treat to see the Proctorsville Fire fighters coming in for dinner/theater wearing full dress uniforms. A very special thanks to Kata Welch who rewrote sections of the play to incorporate past week events and to Sandra Russo, without whom none of this would have been possible.

My favorite moment was backstage last night. A National Guard soldier was looking for a mirror to check his eye. Dr. Bont a.k.a. Dr. Harlow played himself and took care of him. Oh, there was another moment, seeing Daryl Stowell in the audience. Good to see him off his tractor, where he has spent many hours on the back roads getting them up and running again.

At the end of the play, the Town Manager, Richard Svec announced that sewage is no longer going into the Black River as it’s now going to the treatment plant. Town water is back on-line and more homes have had power restored. Be advised that as repair work continues, there maybe need to disconnect power from time to time.

Before the play began, Peggy Svec announced that the Principal George Thomson wanted desperately to be there but had developed complications to his shoulder surgery and was in the emergency room. Sadly, Thomson’s home was written off as a loss. Sending lots of healing thoughts your way George.

Talk about “dirty jobs,” we have the most incredible groups of volunteers working to get basements and yards back in shape. Warren Garfield and his wife from Springfield have spent the last three days with us and will be back tomorrow to help. He, Bill Burrows, Michael Tyrell along with Katie Kurkowiski and a host of volunteers have just been getting “down and dirty.”

If you need help, this is a good day to ask for it as come Monday we expect many volunteers will be returning to work, or in Katie’s case, returning to college. The weather forecast for Monday is not good. You can e-mail margoc@tds.net or call 226-7785.

There is a “Flash Flood Watch” in effect for our area, according to NOAA, until Tuesday. “Areas hard hit by Tropical Storm Irene will be susceptible to more flash flooding given the already wet and eroded ground, it will not take much rainfall to cause flash flooding in this situation.” It is important to understand the difference between a “watch” and a “warning.” A watch for things like a flash flood means that the odds are good for the dangerous weather, but it's not yet happening. A flash flood warning means the event is occurring.

We will be having rain later today and tomorrow and it could be heavy at times. If you are told to evacuate, LEAVE. We will be at the school to help you through it. If the rain is more than you can handle, come to the school and we’ll literally “weather it out” together.

While breakfast, lunch and dinner will be available today, at the Cavendish School, we will be starting to reduce the hours as needs are changing and the building is prepared for students on Sept. 12. On Monday, Sept 5, hours will be 10-7, unless the weather requires more. Muffins and coffee will be available in the morning, with lunch at noon and dinner at 5:30. The Cavendish Cupboard will be open during that 10-7 time period.

We are assessing what is needed by the community to determine how much longer the shelter will need to be available and whether portions of what is being done there can be moved to another location. We recognize that the pending rain could be problematic for some people and are prepared to respond as needed.

We learned yesterday that Pleasant Valley Foods has decided to close. On Monday, they came in first thing, with everything that wasn’t damaged, which allowed us to keep everyone fed while we stocked up.

The donations we’ve received seem to be going out as fast as they are coming in for certain items. Yesterday, we met with FEMA and Red Cross. We’ve asked for a lot more cleaning supplies-shovels, buckets, trash bags and wheelbarrows. In many ways we’ve moved beyond the chain saw phase and are into muck.

The Cavendish Connects website now includes much of what was included on this blog as well as a calendar of Cavendish events. The new blog, “The Dish,” includes the Cavendish Update as well as on-going information.

We asked FEMA about doing clean up work before they’ve site visited. They explained that many insurance companies require that you leave things alone until a site visit, but for FEMA, taking pictures, providing documentation (writing down expenses and tracking donations and volunteer hours) is fine. The important thing with FEMA is to call them as quickly as possible.

As far as food we are doing fine. Could use a lemon meringue pie over brownies though. We have more than enough towels and personal care items. We are not in a position to accept clothes or furniture, even though we know of at least seven families that will be unable to return to their homes. This recovery is going to take some time so we hope that people will hang in there with us.

For the last seven days the town has operated at warp speed to respond to the crisis. The stress is starting to take its toll. This isn’t good for your body, mind or spirit, so take some time to relax, take a nap, and eat a meal with friends, laugh, dance, exercise, or whatever lifts your spirit. Robin Timko will be having a meditation session at the school at 4 pm and Jane Hart will be back today with another fun art project. You actually do a lot better when you take a break.

Much of the information posted yesterday morning remains the same. Information on some additional items appears below.

Pharmacy: Rite Aid in Ludlow will have a temporary way of doing business Tuesday or Wednesday. This will be strictly medications.

Replacement Estimates: Sandy Burgess, owner of Chrisandra's Interiors in Ludlow sent the following e-mail, “I will be more than happy to do carpet/furnishing/drapery quotes for insurance purposes, there is no need for a purchase, just call me at 802-228-2075 or 802-484-3110 so I can help in this way. The important thing is you get an accurate replacement estimate. She also noted Cavendish is an amazing community as are all communities in Vermont dealing with this disaster. The meals are fantastic and what a big help after you've worked all day pulling out wet damaged goods and sopping sheet rock. I had someone in my shop today who has a home here and said and I quote " If this had happened back home everyone would still be sitting around waiting for help...I am amazed at the people here and how fast they are putting everything back together" unquote.

Check Facebook and this blog for information throughout the day.



1 comment:

Sunni said...

I am an elementary school teacher in Texas who used to live in Weston. What does the school need? Are the kids' school supplies damaged/gone? How can Texas teachers help? We are in solidary with you!!! Sunni Starkes - sstarkes1@aol.com; sstarkes@athensisd.net