by Rachel Stuppy and Carrie Adams
As you have heard, Hurricane Irene, the storm that threatened to cause major damage to the east coast, from the Carolinas to the Cape, took an unprecedented turn for the worst – flooding the roads, damaging, and destroying the homes of thousands of east coasters. Who would’ve thought that the tail end of the storm would have created more damage to Vermont, than when it was a Class 3 hurricane hitting the beaches of North Carolina? The images are shocking and even more so, when they are taken from a place you call home.
The towns and communities who were hit hard by Irene need your help and we are graciously asking you for it!
Vermont is home to the Green Mountains, some of the most beautiful lakes in the country, and the world leader of obstacle races. Not only is Pittsfield, VT the home of the Spartan Death Race, it is also where Spartan Race’s HQ are located. Our friends and family live, work and train here. And it feels as if it was yesterday that many of them were here for the Spartan Beast race that was held in Killington. Killington’s terrain and our race directors provided our athletes with one of the most remarkable courses we have had to date! It was a unique race and our athletes are already trying to sign up for next years! Unfortunately, the town is a mess and the lodge where the Killington Beast was, no longer stands.
As you can see, the lodge at K1, where a thousand Spartans earned their green medal, collapsed due to the effects of Hurricane Irene. The Pickel Barrel, where hundreds of athletes gathered with their turkey legs and celebrated their completion of the BEAST, has suffered flooding. The bridges up and down Route 100 have collapsed, making it impossible to travel through the heart of the Green Mountains, by car or by foot. In fact, Pittsfield has become an island because of the destroyed bridges, entering and exiting the town line. The destruction of the bridges in Pittsfield has made the town unreachable, for there is absolutely no way to get in or out, except by helicopter! In fact, one of these collapsed bridges was located just outside of our office.
Because of the limited ground transportation options in the state, the Air National Guard deployed helicopters Tuesday to transport supplies to hundreds of residents who had been stranded in the 13 towns since Sunday.
Mark Bosma, a spokesman for Vermont Emergency Management, said the National Guard was ferrying in food, water, medicine, blankets, diapers, baby formula and tarps. Most of the towns have no electricity, and none has potable water because floodwaters have overwhelmed sewage and water treatment plants in the area.
“I think it’s probably a very scary thing to not know when you can get out of town and to have a water system that’s not working and a general store that has run out of bottled water,” Mr. Bosma said. “People are extremely nervous about being isolated.”
Mr. Bosma said each town would be responsible for determining how to distribute the supplies they are receiving.
“We are getting the assets out as fast as we can,” he said.
The 13 towns that had been isolated are: Cavendish; Granville; Hancock; Killington; Mendon; Marlboro; Pittsfield; Plymouth; Rochester; Stockbridge; Strafford; Stratton; and Wardsboro.
These towns and communities are devastated by Hurricane Irene and they need your attention! We are getting reports that the people trapped inside Pittsfield are coming together to try to rebuild the town from the ground up. They have been meeting every day at 7am for a town meeting, taking head counts, and are trying to make sure everyone is safe and accountable for. They have come together and are trying to rebuild the roads and bridges by hand! It is a beautiful thing to hear how the people have come together, to ensure the survival of others and to rebuild a town that once was. However, they are still desperate need of your help!
Stories are emerging of harrowing acts of selflessness to get people what they need. This video shows The Williams River flooded Route 103 in Rockingham, Vermont. The closed road left the towns separated and without aid. This horseback rider rode through the flood water to deliver a bag of medicine, and then went back across.
We have received an overwhelming response from our racers to help restore the town,where it all started! People from all over the world have been expressing that they are willing to offer their time, energy and hands to rebuild our town. We are extremely grateful and we would love to organize a time where all of the Spartans to race to rebuild Vermont!
We will keep you posted about the situation of the home of Spartan Race! Thank you for thinking about us! Stay safe!
Here are several other ways you can help.
Information on donations from http://7d.blogs.com
- Text FOODNOW to 52000 to donate $10 to Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank will turn each donation into $60 for families in need.
- You can donate to the United Way’s Vermont Disaster Relief Fundonline, or buy sending a donation to your local United Way. Just make sure your donation is marked for the “Vermont Disaster Relief Fund”.
- You can also donate to the American Red Cross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley. The Red Cross set up shelters immediately after Irene hit for flooded-out families to stay in.
- The VT Irene Flood Relief Fundis raising money to help people and communities affected by flooding. 100% of all donations will be distributed to businesses and families. The fund is being administered by Todd K. Bailey.
- Vermont Baseball Tourshas set up the 8/28 Fund to raise money. Donations of $20 or more get you a cool t-shirt.
- The MRV Community Fundhas been reestablished to help Mad River Valley farmers who saw devastating crop losses due to the flooding.
- Independent Vermont Clothingis selling a special “I’m With VT” t-shirt. All profits from sales of the shirt will go to relief efforts.
- Across the lake, upstate New York got hit hard by Irene, too. Donations are being coordinated on the Irene Flood Drive Facebook page.
- VTResponse.comis working to connect volunteers ready to help with those that need assistance. If you want to help clean up and rebuild, let the folks behind this site know.
- Montpelier Aliveis coordinating volunteer efforts in that city through their Facebook page.
- Volunteer and cleanup efforts are also being coordinated on Twitter via the #VTresponse hashtag.
- The Vermont Flooding 2011 page on Facebookis functioning as a community bulletin board of sorts.
- Vermont Helping Handsis also coordinating relief efforts via Facebook.
- The Red Cross is in desperate need of blood donations. Stop by their donation center at 32 North Prospect Street in Burlington, or the Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital Blood Donation Center at 125 Mascoma Street in Lebanon, NH.
- If you need assistance or information from the state, dial 211 or visit vt211.org.
- The Help VermontFacebook group is another place to share recovery information.
- Sublet.com will provide free access for people who are displaced from their homes. Call their customer service line at 1-877-367-7368 for more information.