Volunteers help with Irene recovery in West Pawlet

west-pawlet-cleanup-effortBy Jaime Thomas

For a lot of area residents, Tropical Storm Irene is a thing of the past. Others are still dealing with the storm’s destruction.

And while federal funding is in place to help those who need it, sometimes it’s not enough.

In West Pawlet, flooding from the storm tore out a 100-year-old slate retaining wall and inundated an elderly woman’s entire yard with water from the Indian River, causing damage to several other structures as well.

“We were able to get funds to clean up the yard; it was a huge mess,” said Andrea Varney, volunteer and resource coordinator for the Rutland County Long Term Recovery Committee. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) set up similar committees in counties throughout Vermont following the August 2011 storm.

However, there was still more work to do on the West Pawlet woman’s property.

“She very much wanted to get it put back together, and there wasn’t any funding available,” Varney said. So looking for some help, Varney contacted Keith Mason, who was able to put her in touch with volunteers.

“Keith Mason was an incredible resource; he was very, very helpful,” she said.

So stone mason Rik Sassa, and Justin and John Edwards of Edward’s Excavating responded to the request along with volunteer Will Levine, from Castleton, and rebuilt the slate wall. The men spent seven hours last Saturday and other time meeting with the homeowner to do the work.

“It’s such a miracle that I just called these people out of the blue, and they were ready to help,” Varney said. She estimates the men donated $2,500 worth of time, labor, materials and equipment.

Leon Corey Excavation offered a truck, a load of gravel and an excavator with a thumb, and the Edwards gave 14 hours of labor and the use of their machinery. The town of Pawlet and the Rising and Nelson Slate Quarry donated the slate, and Sassa lent his masonry expertise.

“Rik was so willing to take the lead; he’s the most important person, and we couldn’t have done it without him,” Varney said.

And to keep these volunteers fit and full throughout the day, the Pawlet Community Church provided lunch and dinner for them, while Price Chopper donated cases of water.

The effort in West Pawlet isn’t unique. Varney said volunteers and contractors have donated over 400 hours of labor to Irene recovery since April.

“I’m finding it all over Rutland County. The generosity of these people has just been incredible,” she said.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Classifieds 09/02/15

Charges linger for 10 months, Man in limbo after arresting cop quits

Morrill resignation

By Christina Scanlon When former Granville Police Officer Marc D. Morrill resigned abruptly in April, several cases were still to […]

Trump, Cruz, Carson, Sanders top Washington County straw poll

Straw Poll

By Dan King The Washington County Fair met politics last week, as 737 people came out to vote in a […]

Naval Militia volunteers receive award

Naval Militia

By Dan King A group of seven area maritime veterans, including two from Whitehall and one from Granville, will be […]

First Friday this Friday

This month’s First Friday event, hosted by The Slate Valley Museum and Pember Museum and Library will features an unveiling […]

Teens’ summer jobs pay off

By Christina Scanlon As the summer of 2015 winds down and local youth prepare to head back to school, 50 […]

Hampton primary could decide election

By Christina Scanlon November’s election could be decided next week in Hampton, depending how the votes play out at the […]

Back to school in Hartford

By Christina Scanlon Teachers in the Hartford are headed back to school this week, while students across the district will […]

Backpack program, We Care Project join forces

By Dan King Last November the inaugural Mom Prom raised thousands of dollars for the We Care Project, which is […]

Changes everywhere as school begins today

By Dan King As students arrive at Whitehall Central School today, there will be abundant changes around them. Whether at […]

Bus routes honed as school looms

By Christina Scanlon The floors are gleaming with new wax, while outside the leaves are beginning to turn colors and […]

Earth science a challenge

By Christina Scanlon It takes a 65 on the Regents Exam to pass Earth Science, a course mandatory to get […]