News Releases

October 03, 2011

Gov. Shumlin thanks VT National Guard for job well done

Gov. Peter Shumlin and Agency of Transportation Secretary Brian Searles on Thursday at a barbeque in Rockingham thanked Vermont National Guard members for more than a month of exemplary service helping the state recover from flood damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene.

Five Vermont guard units deployed personnel to numerous Vermont locations where they helped state and municipal highway crews rebuild both local and state roadways.

“Guard members worked incredibly long hours to help us rebuild Vermont’s roads and bridges better than we found them before Irene,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Their service and sacrifice will be remembered for generations to come.”

Vermont National Guard road rebuilding crews will begin demobilizing this weekend. Guard units and personnel deployed to aid roadway recovery included members of the following divisions:

•86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

•86th Special Troops Battalion

•131st Engineer Company

•158th Civil Engineering Squadron

•Camp Ethan Allen Training Site

"Between the two types of deployment – federal and state – this type of unit activation is much more meaningful because it takes place in our home state and affects our neighbors, our families and our friends,” said Captain Annaliese Baumer, Commander of the 131st Engineer Company. “It is extremely different than deploying overseas. When you hit ground overseas, you are immediately put in a defensive posture which is a drastic contrast to a state deployment.”

Major recovery efforts conducted by Vermont National Guard members included:

•Rebuilding Route 131 in Cavendish where the guard produced the roadway design, worked with local road crews, coordinated with stone pits and quarries, and provided the project’s manager.

•Reconstructing Route 9 near Marlboro where the guard provided trucks and equipment (as well as their operators), and also graded and compacted the road.

•Rebuilding Route 100 around Wardsboro where the guard rebuilt numerous sections of road.

•Rebuilding more than a mile of Pike Falls Road in Jamaica where the road was washed away. The guard also provided scour protection to bridges, rebuilt numerous wash-outs, and made the entire roadway passable to emergency vehicles.

•Repaired washed out sections of Turkey Mountain Road in Jamaica.

•Rebuilding Davis Road in Cavendish.

Vermont guard members also removed debris from numerous state and town roads, provided scour protection to numerous state and town bridges, and aided VTrans with other projects.

“When we first arrived in both Wilmington and Cavendish, we were welcomed with open arms,” Baumer said. “Citizens thanked us profusely, brought us food and many other comforts of home. They housed us, cooked us meals, gave us haircuts, washed our equipment with their fire trucks, their kids painted us pictures, sang for us and even put on a play at the local school. They visited with us daily, shook our hands and took photos of us throughout the work day. Most notably, they shared stories of how Irene affected their families. And virtually everyone did that because Irene affected us all.”

..

Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: October 03, 2011 11:46:39