Hundreds of volunteers turned out for Irene cleanup

For Immediate Release
Oct. 22, 2011

Contact: Susan Allen
802-279-8493

Gov. Shumlin calls first-ever Vermont Clean Up Day a success
Thanks hundreds of volunteers who turned out to help with Tropical Storm Irene cleanup

ROCHESTER — After spending most of the day traveling the state to help with Tropical Storm Irene clean up projects, Gov. Peter Shumlin called this first-ever Vermont Clean Up Day a success and thanked the numerous volunteers who turned out to assist their communities and neighbors in the wake of the historic storm.

“Everywhere I worked today, volunteers were out in force to clear debris, help with property repairs, muck out silt and mud from yards and homes, and much more,” said the Governor, who participated in clean-up projects in Rochester, Stockbridge, Bethel and Sharon. “I want to thank everyone who, in the Vermont tradition of helping those in need, devoted their Saturday to making sure all Vermonters are ready for the winter season, especially those who lost so much in the recent storm.”

Groups of volunteers participated from the University of Vermont, Norwich University, Vermont Technical College, the Vermont State Colleges, and other organizations. In addition, individuals donated money and goods — everything from furniture to appliances to clothing, and much more — through the Clean Up Day website at www.vtcleanup.org. Gov. Shumlin said evidence of volunteers was everywhere today, from cars lining roadways as people were off working on projects to bags of trash and piles of debris stacked for pickup.

In Bethel, Gov. Shumlin helped chainsaw debris and broken branches. In Rochester, he helped muck out a shed in a mobile home park. In Sharon, he did riverside cleanup of metal and household belongings that had been sucked away in the flood. In Stockbridge, the Governor helped clear out a home that was shifting on its foundation. In each case he worked with teams of volunteers who turned out to assist.

“Today’s efforts went a long way in meeting the need left by Irene,” Gov. Shumlin said. “But there is still a lot more to be done. I hope Vermonters will continue to reach out and offer their services to people who have lost their homes and belongings, or suffered damage from the storm.”

The Vermont Department of Labor will be following up on some of the projects that were not completed today. Vermont Clean Up Day staff will also be reaching out to heavy equipment owners in hopes of securing more assistance in the coming weeks.

“I expect this to become a fall tradition, much like Green Up Day in the spring, where we all turn out to help neighbors in need prepare for the winter season,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Tropical Storm Irene hit this state hard, but the destruction brought us all together as a community, and Clean Up Day proved that the spirit of Vermont is strong.”

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