Just over 100 days after Barre residents and business owners woke up to shoulder-high flood waters, recovery efforts are continuing downtown.
City officials say the community’s resiliency has shined throughout the process.
“We were the hardest hit community in the state according to their own metrics, said City Manager Nicolas Storellicastro.” Two-and-a-half times harder than any other community.”
In the trenches from the get-go was Tracie Lewis, who leads the Barre Partnership, a non-profit that supports revitalization of the city. She says Barre suffered an estimated $90 million in flood damage, but is now seeing businesses start to re-open.
“It’s so nice to see them opening back up,” she said. “My job now has been to keep people coming here.”
One business still working to reopen is the Kitty Korner Cafe…Owner Alexis Dexter said she had to break holes in the floor of her shop to release flood water into the basement.
“HVAC, water heater, washer and dryer — we basically had to finagle the entire upstairs just to fit it al,” she says. “By the end of this that basement won’t even exist to me.”
Dexter says she’s hoping to be back open for business “within the next week or so we’ll — at least be able to reopen partially.”
Storellicastro said he anticipates more state assistance. He said state officials are scheduled to visit Barre later this month.
“There is still a lot of people in the trenches,” he said. “We’re trying to be respectful of the fact the recovery has still been ongoing for a lot of folks.”