GM Blog: Rebuild

Friday, September 2, 2011

Greetings from VT. I wanted to give you a quick update before the weekend and let you know that we are making progress!!! We have a long way to go but the teamwork is amazing and we are starting to see signs of improvement.

Last night some power was restored in Wardsboro and it was the highlight of my week. Many of our staff live in Wardsboro and it was really starting to wear on them and all of their neighbors. Cheers to Wardsboro!!

Unfortunately, the roads and bridges/culverts still need a lot of work so we continue to emphasize that if you do not need to be on the roads, please stay put. It is so much easier to get the work done when you don’t have to stop to let traffic through.

That being said, we have heard from so many of our passholders and second home owners with words of encouragement, donations and some have even offered their homes to displaced families. THANK YOU – THANK YOU!!! We will get things put back together asap and when we do we will let you know so you can come back to our valley and help us celebrate. Vinnie told me they are working on an extra-special Oktoberfest!

Sundance Lodge has become the overnight HQs for part of the 131st Vermont Army National Guard Engineers and a handful of Army Reserves. There are about 40 men and women staying there. We were happy to see them pull into town since they arrived with about 20 pieces of heavy equipment including dump trucks, front loaders, graters, steam rollers, fuel truck, bull dozers and other heavy equipment.

They told us that their 1st priority is to build at least one functioning lane where roads have been washed out so travel is possible. They started in Wilmington and are now going to Wardsboro. They are helping homeowners where they can.

Both the Army and State of Vermont are bringing in dirt and fill to be used for roads and other repairs and the Army is distributing it. Many homeowners are offering their own supply of fill, dirt or gravel if they have it to be used in the road reconstruction. However, fill and gravel is as valuable as gold around here!

We are trying to keep a good sense of humor and all had a good laugh when we found out that Dave Muenkel (in charge or IT and phones – yeah, he’s our techy geek) was stranded in his hometown down in Mass so he decided to volunteer. Within minutes he was driving a dump truck and was quickly promoted to a loader. No Dave, you still can’t drive a snowcat – sorry!

Dave Moulton (head of Mountain Ops) was talking to a woman from Wilmington who was trying to figure out how she would get all the water, fuel, debris out of her basement. Dave started thinking about the resources we have at the mountain and put together a mobile unit that could pump water, store hazardous waste, etc.

Yesterday, Dave sent Bob (our plumber) and a few other staff to help. Vinnie volunteered our webmaster, Dan, to drive the dump truck. Dan told me that they were able to get everything out of the basement (belonging to the woman who gave Dave the idea for the Mobile unit) but there is still a layer of mud and her oil tank is flipped over along with her water heater. Dan’s dump truck filled quickly and he headed back to the mountain to empty and he handed the dump truck off to Taylor, who is in charge of our sign shop.

Taylor went to Just Bead It and after another load went to Newfane to assist at the home of a staff members. Taylor said the dump truck filled up within an hour with just stuff from the basement. He went on to say that he was most shocked by the road, which is gone on the stretch in S Newfane from the green steel bridge to the newly rebuilt covered bridge.

I could go on for pages and pages because there are hundreds of amazing stories – good book idea for someone. Let’s just say we are moving forward and we appreciate all of the support everyone is providing.

The Dover Board of Selectmen yesterday voted to request that people DO NOT try to come up this weekend. The surrounding towns are having many problems keeping routes open due to heavy traffic and traffic is hampering reconstruction in many areas because they have to continuously stop to let traffic by. Emergency services are very stressed at this point. If you are in town please try to limit your trips or carpool. Also, driving at night can be hazardous because there are unmarked hazards.

Naturally, the influx of volunteers will start to diminish as locals have to go back to work, etc. If you were to volunteer in the future you would really be a rock star! To get on the list to be a volunteer sometime in the future, email Sarah at

There are three local funds set up as follows:

FOR TOWN INFRASTRUCTURE: The Town of Wilmington has set up a Flood Relief Fund. To make donations please make out checks to "Town of Wilmington Flood Relief Fund" and mail to Town of Wilmington, PO Box 217, Wilmington, VT 05363. This fund is to be used to help the Town defer our costs to rebuild infrastructure. Donations are tax deductible and you will receive an acknowledgement by mail.

FOR WILMINGTON SMALL BUSINESSES: Unfortunately, flood insurance and FEMA rarely give support to businesses that lose inventory or equipment. This relief fund, with coordination through the Deerfield Valley Rotary Club and Mount Snow Chamber of Commerce, has been set up to help offset any replacement costs or repair expenses. PayPal donations link at the website. They are working on getting 501c3 status and will update accordingly. All donations will be dispersed to local Wilmington businesses exclusively.

FOR FAMILIES: Deerfield River Valley Human Web. These funds will be used to help affected families anywhere along the Deerfield River path. People will be able to apply for grants from this fund to help displaced renters, people who have lost work and jobs because of the flooding, lost furniture, etc. A website with more information will be set up soon. For now, checks made out to "Deerfield River Valley Human Web" can be sent to the fund at 14 Castle Hill Road, Wilmington, VT 05363.

Twice Blessed PO Box 1094 Wilmington VT 05363 To designate Flood Relief please note on bottom of donations.

I was hoping to have more pictures of the rebuild but I "misplaced" my camera (again – cough, cough) so I am relying on all of you to send me pictures of the rebuild. I will do my best to post them. Again, we cannot thank you enough for your caring thoughts and gestures. Kelly
comments powered by Disqus