Help for Institutions and Individuals With Historical Collections

Sent to Vermont Edition from the Vermont Historical Society (more info here, too):

Cultural institutions that have collections that have been affected by the flooding should be aware of the Vermont Cultural Heritage and Art Recovery Team (VCHART), which is housed at the Vermont Historical Society. The team includes curators, conservators, archivists, municipal clerks and emergency responder who have specialized knowledge and training to respond to emergency situations that impact collections at museums, historical societies, art centers, libraries and municipal offices. This week the team has been focused primarily on gathering information and assessing conditions at institutions throughout the state. As we move into the recovery phase of this disaster, the team may be of service to institutions that have collections damage that is beyond their internal capability to address. With the help of our partner organizations, the Vermont State Libraries, Vermont State Archives, Preservation Trust of Vermont, the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, and Vermont Emergency Management, the Vermont Historical Society has received information about conditions at institutions throughout the state, while also promoting an awareness of the services that are available through VCHART. We have not heard from every institution that may have been impacted, so we want to encourage those who have not contacted one of the above agencies to be in contact with us. For more information about VCHART, please contact VHS Curator Jackie Calder at (802) 479-8514 or jackie.calder@state.vt.us. During evening and weekend hours she can be reached at (802) 522-7690.

We also want to encourage individuals and families to be aware that family keepsakes and heirlooms, such as family photos, can often be saved even when they have are waterlogged. These materials can be salvaged by air drying and gently cleaning them. Freezing certain types of materials may also buy some time until they can be treated more thoroughly. Help also is available from professional conservators. Before simply throwing away family heirlooms that have been damaged, please consider how they might be salvaged and preserved. Heritage Preservation offers a useful document that elaborates on these points. It is entitled “Save Your Treasures The Right Way” and it can be found at www.heritagepreservation.org.

Mark S. Hudson
Executive Director
Vermont Historical Society
60 Washington St.
Barre, VT 05641-4209
www.vermonthistory.org

Disaster Clearinghouse In Bethel

Sent to VPR:

Bethel has a Disaster Clearinghouse at the Town Hall on Main St., 234-6657. We opened yesterday, 9/1, and are matching needs with resources. I am the volunteer coordinator. We are staffed from 9-5 daily. There is a clothing/bedding/houseware distribution center set up in the hall’s main auditorium. We also have cases of water and cleaning supplies. The Town Hall is also the central meeting place for volunteers and a general gathering point with comfortable seating.

We have a well-stocked Emergency Food Shelf at Bethel’s White Church on Church St and have greatly increased it’s open hours to match those of the Disaster Clearinghouse, 9-5. We need volunteers to help staff it. Call Paula at 234-6359 or the Town Hall at 234-6657.

Thank you for your support.

Best,
Sandy Levesque

Search Operations Continue in Mendon for Michael Garofano

From the Vermont State Police:

Today, September 2, the Vermont State Police Search and Rescue Team, New England K9 Search and Rescue Team, Army National Guard, Rutland City Fire Department, Rutland City Department of Public Works, Casella Construction, Fabian Excavating and Markowski Excavating continued their search operations in Mendon Brook near the water pump house in Mendon, VT, for missing Michael Gregory Garofano, 24.

The agencies and business listed above along with FEMA Urban Search and Rescue and Colchester Technical Rescue have been searching the area through the week with various techniques including searches by ground personnel, search dogs and coordinated movement of the debris piles caused by the waters of hurricane Irene. Several searches from the air have also been conducted.

As the search continues today, teams are concentrating on areas where clues have been located. At the same time they are expanding the search area further downstream. We have 6 canine search teams and 35+ ground searchers deployed. The Army National Guard is searching from the air by helicopter.

Killington: Detailed Update

FOOD UPDATE:

Lunch and Food Available at Killington Elementary School Now
September 2, 2011 11:55am

Food Available
The School received a distribution of Food today. Please come up and pick up what you need or help distribute to those in need.

Lunch Right Now
Hamburgers and Hot Dogs are available now until 5pm.

There will not be a dinner tonight at the School.

******

 

Yesterday’s update from the Killington Town Manager:

Town of Killington
Hurricane Irene Assistance Efforts & Updates
Current as of 6 pm, September 1, 2011

Federal Disaster Declaration

We were granted Federal Disaster Declaration for Rutland and Killington for residents and businesses. This means that assistance will be available for restoration work for residents and businesses. We will need to complete a comprehensive survey to get work authorization. More details will be forthcoming.
Businesses and Non-Profits

The Department of Commerce has set up a hotline to take reports/requests. Please call (802) 828-3211 between 7:45 and 4:30. Rutland Economic Development Corporation 773-2747 and the Rutland Chamber of Commerce 773-9147 may also be able to reference specific programs available. Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has loans available for businesses and farms damaged by Irene. Rutland Area Farm and Food Link(417-7331) has info for farms.
Transportation

We had a good meeting with VT Agency of Transportation (AOT) today. They have dispatched a regional manager and opened a new office in our area and are working to accelerate efforts on Route 4. We briefed them on the emergency transportation measures we have implemented. They are working on the overall construction schedule to create both a temporary and long-term solution and will advise us on how we continue our temporary measures.

Until we have more feedback from AOT, we plan to continue with the same transportation options we offered today.
Remote Homeowners Property Check

Killington and Mendon officials and emergency management are requesting that remote and second homeowners postpone any immediate travel plans to the region while work on navigable routes in and out of town continues.

To assist property owners who are out of the area, do not have a property management company, or have not been able to check on their property by any other means, the town is setting up a Remote Homeowners Property Check System. More information will be provided as plans are finalized.
Town-Wide Property Damage Assessment

The town and the Red Cross need to perform a town-wide property damage assessment. They have divided the town into 8 districts and need 2 volunteer residents per district to work with the Red Cross and other officials. Ideally, the criteria for these volunteers are:

1. Have access to a 4-wheel drive vehicle
2. Must be physically fit, as climbing may be necessary
3. Must be available for the next 3 days

Sign up sheets for volunteers are available at the Town Meeting as well as at the Killington Fire Department. Call 802-422-3473 to sign up.
Municipal Buildings Update

• The Sherburne Memorial Library will be open on Saturday from 9 am – 1 pm.
• The Transfer Station will be open for special hours on Friday, Sept. 1 from 8 am – 2 pm. It will resume regular hours on Saturday and Monday from 8 am – 2 pm. The Transfer Station should only be accessed from Rt. 100 to River Road, not from Thundering Brook Road or Rt. 4.
Fuel

The Water Wheel’s electricity has been restored. They have gas and are extending their hours to be open until 8 pm. Access to the Water Wheel will be from Rt. 4 only. If you are driving across Rt. 4 to the Water Wheel, please only drive from 6:30 pm – 8 pm so as to not disrupt daytime construction.
Pet Clinic

There will be a pet clinic on Saturday at 2 pm at the Summit Lodge. A sign up sheet is available at the Town Meeting as well as at the Killington Fire Department. Call 802-422-3473 to sign up.
Power Restoration

If you are still without power, or your power goes out again, please make sure that all devices, including lights, are turned off. If you have had any flooding, turn your breakers off to avoid fires.

USDA Disaster Assistance for Vermont Farmers

From the State Executive Director of the USDA:

Please encourage farmers who have sustained damage to contact the USDA county office nearest them. While most Vermont farmers are familiar with their county USDA office, if they are unsure they can contact our USDA state office in Colchester at 658-2803 or 951-6795.

USDA staff are currently conducting damage assessments on farms in partnership with the State of Vermont to determine what type of assistance can be provided to farmers who have suffered damage to their land as well as crop and animal losses. Even if a farmer has not participated in USDA program before, they are still eligible for some types of disaster assistance.

Robert G. Paquin
State Executive Director
USDA Farm Service Agency
Colchester, VT

USDA Disaster Assistance for Vermont Farmers

Full Text: Letter From VT Governor Shumlin To President Obama

You know by now that President Obama approved the emergency assistance request for most of Vermont.

Below is the text of the press release from Governor Shumlin’s office.

Attached is the full 11-page letter from Governor Shumlin to President Obama. It provides extensive details on the extent of the damage. View that letter here: Tropical Storm Irene Flooding, Emergency Request Letter: VT Governor Peter Shumlin to President Barack Obama

The press release from Governor Shumlin’s office here:

Gov. Shumlin seeks major disaster declaration from President in wake of Irene

MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin today requested a major disaster declaration from President Barack Obama for public assistance to help with infrastructure repairs in all Vermont counties except Grand Isle, and individual assistance for homeowners and businesses in counties where early assessments have been completed. Because assessments continue in some counties – particularly in hard-hit southern Vermont – a supplemental request will follow to add those areas.

The public assistance request encompasses road, bridge and rail damage in Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor counties. The initial individual declaration includes Chittenden, Washington, Rutland, and Windsor counties. It is expected that a supplemental request will add other counties, such as Windham and Orange, as assessors continue to tally the damage across Vermont from Tropical Storm Irene. Those additional requests will be added as quickly as possible.

“We need to get the federal assistance approved and into the state as quickly as possible,” Gov. Shumlin said. He noted that the state has already received an Emergency Declaration for Federal Assistance, which provided immediate assistance to begin getting emergency disaster relief efforts in place. Today’s response begins a more formal process of seeking full assistance for roads, bridges, homeowners and businesses, and other relief work.

“The President and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate have pledged the full support of the federal government to help Vermont recover from the devastation left in the storm’s wake,” Gov. Shumlin said. “We will begin moving forward with this declaration request and add the additional counties as the assessments are completed.”

Governor Shumlin said he is optimistic that the White House would approve the declaration quickly. If approved, the public assistance would provide a federal match for work on roads, bridges and other public infrastructure damaged in the flooding and winds of Irene. The individual assistance would help homeowners and businesses cover the costs of repairs, temporary housing rental, replacement of essential household items, medical and other disaster-related needs, and other needs that resulted from the storm.

Vermont Emergency Management: Summary Of The Current Situation

From VEM, a summary of the current situation:

Hurricane Irene has damaged and closed more than 250 local and state roads which had isolated 11 Vermont towns. As of today, all towns are open for logistics access. Road restoration is ongoing. There have been three confirmed deaths and one individual is reported missing during this time period for this storm. Power remains out for approximately 3,500 customers, the majority of which are in southern Vermont. This number is down from 15,000 the same time yesterday. CVPS has the most customers out at this point, at 3,300 and are working with AOT to gain access and restore power. The Vermont National Guard has completed 100% of its air transport and 95% of its ground transport missions to partially isolated and severely impacted jurisdictions. Local jurisdictions are being contacted by the VT SEOC and asked a standard list of questions to determine needs and ability to provide for their residents. This data will better enable Incident Coordination Team to determine priorities going forward.

There are 22 people located in 3 shelters. A shelter in Brattleboro is open for overnight residents, but is currently serving as feeding center only.

State employees have returned to work with the exception of those who report in Waterbury as well as at the Rutland Department of Motor Vehicles complex. Both of these sites have sustained significant damage as a result of the flooding.

Public Safety Announces Vermont Forensic Lab Secure Following Flood

From the Department Of Safety:

The Vermont Department of Public Safety building was flooded by the Winooski River on Sunday night forcing an evacuation of the building, which is still uninhabitable. Among the divisions of DPS housed in the building is the Vermont Forensic Lab, and while the lab has been uninhabitable all necessary security is still in place. The building is secure and the evidence has not been compromised.

“We don’t have general power or clean water so we cannot accept evidence right now,” Vermont Forensic Lab Director Peg Schwartz said. “However, the floodwaters did not otherwise affect the lab, no evidence has been compromised, and the building is secure.”

The Vermont crime lab processes evidence for police agencies throughout the state and moved into its new quarters last year. The Department of Buildings and General Services is working to restore access to all buildings at the Waterbury State Office Complex and police agencies will be notified when the lab reopens.

“Systems are in place to protect evidence and make certain that criminal cases can proceed,” Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said. “Despite the widespread impact of Tropical Storm Irene, the Department of Public Safety will continue to provide services to the community to the utmost of our ability.”

“Waterbury Food Shelf is reopening (today) in its original location!”

“… Tell your flood-bemused friends, tell your hungry neighbors, come get some food!”

That from Liz Schlegel. She’s organizing information in the #VTResponse Forum, here: http://vtresponse.1063552.n5.nabble.com/WATERBURY-f4754089.html. Get the latest details on time, details, etc., there.

A Waterbury Update here, http://vtresponse.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/help-needed-waterbury-update.

Swift water rescue in Clarendon, Vt

NYSP Chopper in swift water rescue, Clarendon VT. Image courtesy VT State Police.

From the Vermont State Police:

STATE OF VERMONT
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
VERMONT STATE POLICE
PRESS RELEASE
INCIDENT: Swift water rescue in Clarendon, Vt

SUMMARY OF INCIDENT:
ON 1SEPT11, AT APPROXIMATELY 1721 HRS, VERMONT STATE POLICE DISPATCH RECEIVED A CALL FOR ASSISTANCE CONCERNING (2) CONSTRUCTION WORKERS WHO BECAME STRANDED AND ISOLATED ON A SECTION OF THE COLD RIVER AT THE RT7 OVERPASS IN CLARENDON, VT. THE MEN WERE WORKING ON A SECTION OF RT7 WHICH COLLAPSED DURING THE STORM SUNDAY AFTERNOON. EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON OTHER PORTIONS OF RUTLAND COUNTY ENCOUNTERED A HEAVY RAINSTORM AND FLASH FLOODING CAUSING BOTH MEN TO BECOME STRANDED ON A PORTION OF EARTH LOCATED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RIVER.
CLARENDON FIRE DEPARTMENT AND RESCUE PERSONNEL WERE CALLED AND RESPONDED TO THE SCENE. RUTLAND TOWN FIRE DEPARTMENT, VERMONT STATE POLICE, RUTLAND COUNTY SHERIFF’S AND RUTLAND CITY TECHNICAL RESCUE ALSO ASSISTED WITH THEIR RESPONSE.
DUE TO THE DANGEROUS RIVER CONDITIONS AND THE INABILITY FOR RESCUE PERSONNEL TO REACH THE TWO MEN, A REQUEST FOR AIR SUPPORT WAS REQUESTED FOR NEW YORK STATE POLICE (NYSP)AND THE VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD. A NYSP HELICOPTER AND CREW ARRIVED ON SCENE APPROXIMATELY 45 MINUTES AFTER THE INITIAL REQUEST AND REACHED BOTH MEN, HOISTING THEM TO SAFETY WITHOUT INCIDENT. BOTH MEN DID NOT SUSTAIN INJURIES DURING THE INCIDENT.
THE VERMONT STATE POLICE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE NYSP, VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD AND ALL EMERGENCY RESPONSE AGENCIES WHO ASSISTED IN THIS EVENINGS INCIDENT.