Thursday December 20, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- Nearly a year-and-a-half after floodwaters from Tropical Storm Irene smashed property and shattered lives across the state, the Southeastern Vermont Irene Long Term Recovery Committee continues to help Windham County homeowners recover from the devastation.

In the weeks following the storm, 1,500 Windham County households were listed by FEMA as damaged. After contacting these households, about 300 had unmet needs such as interior and exterior repairs to homes, drainage projects, mold mitigation, driveway repair, and well relocation. The SEVT LTRC collected over $300,000 from community contributions and so far has helped over 100 homeowners with these needs, as well as with costs related to mobile home replacement, home rebuilds, purchase of materials, and home moves and new furniture delivery.

Volunteer assistance has been vitally important to SEVT LTRC’s work. Over 180 volunteers (individuals and groups from in state including local Rotary clubs and from out-of-state) have worked more than 2,880 hours to assist with 60 projects since September 2011.

Now, with a second post-storm winter rapidly approaching, SEVT LTRC is still managing approximately 50 cases. Here’s what the caseload looks like (some jobs overlap for a single household): 10 buy-out applications; 10 home rebuilds; 12 foundation projects; 24 access road improvements; 26 excavation needs; 11 well repairs; 14 heating issues; 15 septic problems; 12 mold mitigation needs; 12 roof repairs; and nine weatherization projects.

Homeowners with unmet needs resulting from Tropical Storm Irene have until Feb. 15, 2013, to apply for recovery funds from the SEVT LTRC. For more information and/or an application contact the Disaster Recovery Service at 800-464-9951 or mwolf@sevca.org.

The committee also seeks more contributions of volunteer time, donations, and/or other resources (materials, special skills) to ensure that our neighbors can put their recovery needs behind them. To contribute in any way, please contact United Way of Windham County at 802-257-4011 or info@unitedwaywindham.org.