First off, all of us here at OvRride wish to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation for the tremendous response and outreach from everyone in response to the overwhelming devastation brought to the Northeast by Hurricane Irene. As you many of you are aware, the arrival of Hurricane Irene on August 28th brought with it the worst flooding many regions of Vermont and upstate New York have ever seen. Other areas experienced the worst flooding they have seen in centuries.
Several weeks after the storm, the devastation in the Northeast is still unimaginable. The state of Vermont had approximately 250 roads and 160 bridges washed out by the storm, Water and power has been undeterminably interrupted, and far too many lost everything. With the devastation to the roads, what should be a ten-minute drive has left Vermonters with an option between driving a 3 hour detour and taking an hour and a half hike across the flooded river gully. Imagine how difficult it is to get supplies and necessities when getting to the other side of town is this complicated. Furthermore, almost a month after Irene hit, there are still over 10,000 people without electricity throughout the state. Adding insult to injury, there’s barely any knowledge about the situation due to little press coverage.
This week brought the first frosts of the season to the Green Mountains. This announcement is traditionally a celebratory moment of the first signs of the snowboarding season finally starting! Today however, it’s met with mixed emotions since it also means that for those affected by the flooding, the situation is about to get much worse. As freezing temperatures begin to set in, the window to dig out people’s homes and to build and restore what was destroyed is rapidly closing. Once the ground freezes, all efforts for restoration are halted.
The outpouring of support and willingness from the NYC community has been tremendous. The relief agencies and people in Vermont we have been working with wish to thank you tremendously. But they wish to remind you that need for continued support is especially necessary in light of recent problems with federal funding support. OvRride is proud to be coordinating the effort in NYC between the State of Vermont, appointed agencies and the local grassroots supporters.
There are two ways you can help:
- Get on the bus! We’re sending up buses of volunteers and arranging for transportation, lodging and meals to be provided at no expense. All skill levels are appreciated, and those with contracting and specialized backgrounds are being especially sought out. Get on the bus, and bring your friends!
- Come to our fundraising events! We’re planning some good ol’ fashion OvR partying to raise money to be donated directly to the Stratton Foundation. We chose this particular organization because of our close ties to Stratton and the surrounding town of Jamaica, but also because 100% of the proceeds are being forwarded to the relief effort of that region. Come out, party, talk about the upcoming season… and bring your wallet!