A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Hurricane Aftermath

Dana Mathewson

Recent Hurricane Irene, as you all know, was billed as a relatively low-power storm, being downgraded to a Tropical Storm when it hit New England. You've also heard, though, that it caused lots and lots of damage in Vermont.

Homer May, Martha's and my friend from northern New Hampshire, sends us the following report from a friend of his. This puts everything into stark human terms. I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around this!

Thirty miles south of us !!!!!

Begin forwarded message:
excerpts from an email from a guy down in Lebanon.

Begin forwarded message:

The Real Cost of the Hurricane Aftermath,.,,,, More So in Vermont than New Hampshire:


West Lebanon and Lebanon New Hampshire:
Spoke with several people handling the aftermath of the storm. J.C. Penny's will remain
closed from three to six months. The Corporate Office may just close it down as a total loss.
While I was coming out of Walmart, I met a lady hair dresser who "worked" for J.C. Penny's
before the Storm Closed it. She said, Penny's management called the employees and said they
will be give a Week's paycheck and told to file for unemployment. Then were told to file
for Human Services benefits.... Except in Vermont. The State Office Building that Housed
the Employment Dept., Personal Dept., Health and Human Services [ Welfare ] ALL their
State Computer System Servers were Destroyed by the Storm !!! Seems No one thought of
a Higher Location with back up generators to prevent the computers from destruction !!! So,
Where are They going to File ? How ? Walmart is completely out of Flashlights and D Cell,
C Cell Batteries. Also were just started to restock water and milk.

The shoe store that is attached to Penny's had water marks over 6 - 7 feet inside the store !
J.C. Penny's has a "water level mark" on the out side of their building 3/4 the way up the walls/

SEARS also was very hard hit. And the parent company also may close the RT 12A store.
K Mart is being completely cleaned and restored by several different companies. The Pet
Store basement where all the fish and reptiles were, completely flooded, a total loss. The

damage continued all the way down to Home Depot. The water across the Penny's Plaza
parking lot was 4 ft deep, reaching CVS. The assistant manager at Radio Shack told me
the water came up to their front door and stopped !!!

My Squadron Commander who is a Civil Engineer and West Point Grad. Said Why didn't

Penny's, Kohl's. K Mart. etc. get tractor trailer trucks to come on before the storm and load
everything from the stores into the trailers and lock them further up the parking lots out of
harms way towards Rt. 12 A. I told him because even the Store Managers didn't have any
vision even though they had time this storm was going to hit. Then their stores merchandise
would not have been trashed and destroyed. No Corporate MBA's with Common Sense. All
they care about is the Bottom Line. Same with crooked bankers, lawyers.

The State of Vermont was ten times worse. All the roads that cross Vermont
from East to West are severed. I was told to get to Rutland. You had to drive all the way to Williston, VT.
and then take I 89 South to RT 7 to Rutland, VT. There is No Other way to get there !!! People are running
out of drinking water, food, gasoline and diesel fuel, and the majority of homeowners who had seasoned wood
already paid for and stacked for the winter, The Ragging Rivers Took it all away. Same with animal feed in
bulk silos. Gardens, Produce in the fields, etc. Farm Equipment. People were going around getting gas, or
oil from fuel tanks, propane tanks washed down river. Garbage dumpsters, mail boxes also destroyed.

I spoke with one of the Randolph Town Employees, who went to Walmart, He is the one who said the East
- West Roads in Vermont are Cut Off as the Bridges are Destroyed, The Interstate 89 and 91 On and Off Ramps
were destroyed due to rivers cutting through them. He said Electric Company Substations were destroyed. They
were using bulldozers go open up roads, within hours, landslides covered the roads again. They were taking Downed
Trees and building Pioneer Type Bridges Across destroyed roads and bridges. He said the very worst thing,
the hilltop cemeteries had been totally washed out and the Caskets were floating down the rivers - ended up
smashing up and open dumping the bodies into the river where there were bridge abutments !!! There is an
average of 10 - 12 feet of silt deposited by the rivers,,, and the bodies are completely under it.

THEN there are Thousands of Dead Farm Animals,,,,, Dairy Cows, Horses, Sheep, Goats, Pigs, etc. The large
Cows are bloated from death and they try to bury them with backhoes and bucket loaders. BUT when they dig
down 4 feet the Water comes up like a fountain. So, the dead animals are piling up - a real health hazard.
People are Homeless from loosing their homes and mobile homes floating down rivers. Schools cannot be
opened because too many roads and bridges are destroyed the buses used to drive to pick up the kids for school.
HE said the Railroad Main Line is completely severed in several places in Vermont. Track and Bridges

completely washed away. The Taftsville Covered Bridge is Totally Destroyed - Gone Washed Away. There
are Two Volunteer Fire Departments, that are totally unusable because the silt and debris from the river
deposited is about 3 - 4 feet deep. They cannot even get the trucks out to use them, as inside the stations
the trucks are mired in mud !!! There is a mad concoction of gasoline, fuel oil and diesel fuel mixed in
with the river water going down stream. There are large industrial size propane tanks that were floating
down the White and Connecticut Rivers. I was told that half of Vermont is without Phone / Cell Phone
Service and half of Vermont is without Power. Stores that were able to open, sold out fresh food, canned
goods, milk, water, T.P., paper towels, etc. The VT. National Guard is going all over with the local fire
and police departments rescuing people stranded in cars, homes, barns. Two National Guard Humvees
ended up sinking into a river. The Guardsmen came through the top turret hatches and Swam to Shore
going against swollen raging rivers. Now, they are out two $ 75,000 each vehicles. Further, he said,
You cannot drive around at night. Because of the road surfaces you see, are only 4 to 6 inches deep.
The sub roadbed, the ground beneath it is gone. Leaving an asphalt top with an open space of 20 ft
below it. There have been several traffic deaths this way. The Drivers disappeared beneath the Road
surfaces. Others have slipped or were pulled into ragging rivers by suction and swept downstream. Bodies
still missing.

This to me sounds like the Aftermath Hurricane Katrina down in New Orleans. Rather than Vermont !!!

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