Thursday, May 5, 2011

Update: Vermont Flooding

Vermont remains in the midst of significant flooding. The American Red Cross has been active with State and private partners to assist throughout this period. Allow this entry to provide an update as to some of the activities we have been, and remain, engaged in to provide assistance to affected individuals and communities.

We presently have 25 cases open, providing assistance to 70 individuals. The primary form of assistance has been with lodging, placing individuals and families in hotels/motels as close to their homes as is feasible. Additionally, some of those we have helped have been provided financial assistance for food and clothing. Referrals to additional resources (State, community, etc.) are also provided. Some, but I am sure not an exhaustive list, of the towns where we have helped people would include: St. Johnsbury, Burlington, Derby, Beecher Falls, Essex Jct., Colchester, St. Albans, Cambridge/Jeffersonville. In several towns, including Johnson and Isle LaMotte, we have been in contact with local officials and they are aware of the services the American Red Cross can provide.

In addition to these individual cases referenced above, it is worth noting that we have had a shelter opened in St. Albans for the past 3 days to assist should any families need shelter from the rising lake level. [Pictured above are Jesse Hannon, Steve Pernicka, Tonya Hannon, Krissie Houghton, Christina Stetson, Conner Stetson (in front) and David Stetson as they open the St. Albans shelter.] A significant component to our initial response last week was to assist an additional 30+ families (over 75 additional individuals) in the Cambridge/Jeffersonville area. Exemplifying the importance of community partners, those displaced families were provided lodging through the generous support of Smuggler’s Notch and we did not need to open a public shelter. The Red Cross arranged for meals, preparing many from our Mobile Kitchen Unit.

During this crisis, we have provided 100 clean up and comfort kits, over 400 meals, over 550 snacks, deployed 6 Red Cross vehicles into the field and relied on over 20 volunteers to help provide the assistance described in this entry.

The Red Cross is actively assessing damage throughout the region. Continued rain and rising water levels are expected to translate into an increase in demand for Red Cross services. We remain active with our State and private partners in trying to address and anticipate additional needs.

Let's not forget, our response to the flooding comes on the heels of a major fire in Brattleboro, where we have assisted close to 50 families displaced by that disaster.