Two days after severe weather, the Chester area is crunching numbers. Leaders say they're in need of financial aid for repairs.
On Wednesday, they got one step closer. Governor Peter Shumlin toured damage in the Chester area.
One of the hardest hit areas is on Kingsbury Road. Repairs are underway at homes there.
Rich DeFoe’s son owns one of the homes. He says the floors, among other things, are a total loss.
He’s in the process of removing the floors now. “There's a bunch of work,” said DeFoe. “We had a lot of wires ripped out. We have no well right now. There's a lot of work to be done here."
And across the street is Jan Rounds' home. She came prepared with a sign made personally for Shumlin that read: “Governor Shumlin, we got hit again. Stop in! Thanks!”
“I would just love for him to come over because nobody notices our house and our damage down there and this is the second time,” said Rounds when Shumlin was visiting another home.
Ask and you may receive.
"I'm happy that Shumlin's here and that my husband gets the chance to talk to him,” said Rounds once Shumlin toured her property. “My husband's been trying since Irene to make changes so that when it happened again, because Mother Nature happens, that we wouldn't be devastated."
Rounds wants her garage raised and reinforcements set up on the river.
She is one of several homeowners in this area experiencing an unwanted trend.
"It just breaks your heart,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin (D – Vermont). “These are people who got hit by Irene, now they're getting hit 3 years later. The woman I just met with, she's 90+ years old going through it for the second time. She's out of her home.”
Shumlin blames climate change for the changing flood plain. “We got to be smart about rebuilding,” said Shumlin.
The Governor also witnessed the damage in Andover, a town over from Chester where road damage is just as devastating.
The town of Andover says it is still calculating the exact repair costs.
As for Chester: “It could be as much as $600,000, just in Chester. Then, you know, Andover right next door sustained something pretty close to that,” said David Pisha, Chester Town Manager.
“If the damage hits $1 million between all of the towns combined, then I apply to the President for federal disaster aid,” explained Governor Shumlin.
That aid would apply strictly to roads and infrastructure.
The Chester Town Manager told us they found even more damage. For example, crews spotted damage to a pump station at the sewer plant Wednesday morning.
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