Monday, September 5, 2011

9/5/11 Recovery Labor Day

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.

Information can also be posted on the Cavendish VT Facebook Page

It seems fitting, since it is Labor Day to start this post with a quote from President Calvin Coolidge that he gave in September 1928, while touring the state after the Nov. 1927 flood, I love Vermont because of her hills and valleys, her scenery and invigorating climate, but most of all because of her indomitable people. They are a race of pioneers who have almost beggared themselves to serve others. If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the Union, and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont. Could we fine better words to describe Cavendish this past week? I don’t think so. We are truly the “little town that could.”

This morning was the first chance I’ve had to take a long walk and see the changes in the village of Cavendish where I live. It felt initially like going to a viewing. However, I ended up talking to many people and was enthralled with all that’s being done. Everyone was commenting on last night’s rain. I’ve interviewed a number of older people in our town that survived the 1927 flood. A common response to the question of how the flood affected them was “don’t much like rain.” Think we can all relate to that now.

Last evening, thanks to the American Legion from Ludlow we served our National Guard for the last time as they have nearly all moved to new headquarters at the Ludlow Community Center. We sang “Happy Birthday” to one of the guard and presented him with a cake. There was also another chorus of “We’re Mixing Up a Storm,” a song written by Diane McNamara for the first Cavendish Chronicles, with some new lyrics to reflect our current situation. Friendships are forming between the Guard and our community, so we know that we will continue to see them and provide support in whatever way we can. As best as we can tell, the Guard is around for a while as the work is going to take time.

I have a special thank you to Kim Leonard, who read yesterday’s post, where I commented that I could use a lemon meringue pie. Not only did she make me very happy by bringing a very delicious pie, but she brought it at the right time so some of our incredible work crew could enjoy it as well.

While we’ve had work crews heading out of the schools for the last three days, we know that many others have pitched in to help neighbors. As Bill Barrows pointed out, “we clean your place out and then you help to clean someone else out.” If we adopt the “sweat equity” approach, we can get this done. One of the best examples of that are Dawn and Michael Tyrrell. Dawn has been at the school since Sunday, when their house was flooded. Saturday and Sunday, Michael has been part of the Bill Barrows and Warren Garfield work team mucking out basements and Dawn, with the help of Cheryl Liener, Bruce McEnaney, Katie Karkowski and several others was able to take care of the flood damage. Hopefully the Tyrrell family had their first showers in their home last night.

According to the National Weather Service, a flash flood watch remains in effect and they’re prediction for heavy rain this evening is 100 percent. Please take precautions, particularly if you are working in areas where it recently flooded.

As the needs of this situation change, so do the people. Many are preparing to return to work tomorrow and recovery is in full swing so the need for the shelter has reduced significantly. Since school needs to reopen on Monday Sept. 12, preparations are underway to move the Cavendish Cupboard to the Proctorsville Fire Department. Most likely lunch and dinner tomorrow will be the last meals served there.

I’m working at home this morning so that we will have a handout for people by noon to help them with recovery efforts. This will be posted to and will be a side link Irene Recovery Resources. Since information will be changing rapidly, it will most likely be updated at least every few days. Print versions will be made with each update. Please share with neighbors and friends.

Clean Up Kits: The Red Cross has provided kits that include a bucket, mop, sweep and shop brooms, cleaning product, sponges, scrub brush, bleach and gloves. If you’ve been cleaning, you may be in need of a kit to replace what may be too yucky to continue to use. We now have shovels and some different style brooms. These are available at the Cavendish Cupboard.

Outposts: The Fire Departments have been establishing “outposts” in various parts of town where it is possible to be stranded in the event of a flood or snowstorm. They have water, MRE (Ready Meals) and some will have clean up kits. While we’ll see if we can get a list of who is where, talk to your neighbors. If you would like to be an outpost for your community, talk to the Fire Department.

Today’s Activities: The school will open at 10 am with coffee and light breakfast type foods. Lunch is at noon and dinner is at 5:30. We plan to close at 7 this evening. Jane Hart will be doing a craft again and hopefully we’ll see Pastor Joseph and Jessica Arnold for some incredible face painting.

Six Loose Ladies: Last day of their 25% off sale. Might be a good day to knit a scarf or hat for our guard.

Dumpsters: The Dumpsters should be cleaned out this morning. Needless to say they were overflowing from the weekend.

Boil Water Notice: We’ve received questions about what a boil water notice means. According to the VT DEC Water Supply Division

Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, beverage and food preparation, and making ice until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. Boiling is the preferred method to assure that the tap water is safe to drink. Bring all tap water to a rolling boil, let it boil for one (1) minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water.
If you cannot boil your tap water….
An alternative method of purification for residents that do not have gas or electricity available is to use liquid household bleach to disinfect water. The bleach product should be recently purchased, free of additives and scents, and should contain a hypochlorite solution of at least 5.25%. Public health officials recommend adding 8 drops of bleach (about _ teaspoon) to each gallon of water. The water should be stirred and allowed to stand for at least 30 minutes before use.
Water purification tablets may also be used by following the manufacturer’s instructions.

A “boil water” notice remains in effect for those on town water.

No comments: