People are responding to the destruction of Hurricane Irene with cooperation and compassion:
From Rochester, Vermont:
Message from Rochester: ‘We need help, but we’re not hurt’
In the Windsor County mountain town of Rochester, people are sharing food, providing shelter for the homeless – and waiting for a restored connection to the outside world.
“The first thing people want is for their families outside to know we are all fine,” Haas said. “We need help, but we’re not hurt. People shouldn’t worry about whether their loved ones are okay.”
By Tuesday afternoon, Rochester, population 1,100, was increasingly desperate for assistance. Several residents in need of kidney dialysis had been airlifted out, Haas said. The town grocery store and four restaurants were providing food, but supplies would not last indefinitely.
“We are in fact going to run out of food. We are at the point where people are cleaning out their freezers,” Haas said. Road crews were working to open up a rudimentary road — one state official described it as a “goat path” — and the National Guard was expected to deliver some supplies later in the day, she said.
. . .
In the absence of help from the outside, Rochester residents helped each other.
“People are really pitching in and taking care of each other. It’s really amazing,” Ross Laffan, a longtime resident, said Tuesday by cellphone. “The townspeople and the fire department have just been awesome.”
From Pittsfield, Vermont:
Trapped in Pittsfield: Residents dig out and await help
in the Rutland Herald (VT) online
Peter Borden is working from the inside out.
Since Sunday, the Pittsfield emergency management director has been coordinating efforts in his small valley town of about 300 residents since Irene’s heavy rains cut off all access to the outside world.
With roads washed out in all directions, and only the resources available between the wide, 35-foot-deep washouts on either end of the town on Route 100, Borden and other residents (as well as a wedding party of 60) have had to make do with a handful of portable generators and “a lot of cooperation and working together.”
“This has been the coolest bonding experience I’ve ever seen,” Borden said Tuesday morning via cellphone on the small town green. “You wouldn’t believe it.”
Borden, who is The Times Argus’ advertising director, said seven houses in town were destroyed by rushing water — including one that washed downriver and crashed into a bridge — and a privately owned covered bridge was swept away. Everyone is accounted for, and no one was injured, although there were two memorable boat rescues Sunday as the tropical storm dropped several inches of rain on Vermont.
Now, after the water receded, there is just widespread devastation.
“We’re an island,” he said, describing the damage to the two-lane road and the village area. “We are totally cut off, but we are all comfortable with it.”
How you can help Vermont?
From Seven Days Blog
And here, a horse and rider deliver medicine across a flooded river in Rockingham, Vermont: