- Water fountains are being shut off in the school and students are being provided with water bottles. At present we have over 6000 bottles.
- The cafeteria will be using paper products and will therefore not be washing the plates, etc…
- Shower facilities are not being used by athletes.
- There will be limited interior bathroom facilities available – 2 male and 2 female.
- We’ll be shutting off the sinks in those bathrooms that are available.
- We have portable bathroom facilities already in place. After a call to Al Legacy, I learned that more are being delivered tomorrow morning.
- He will also be asking about the self-contained hand washing station.
- Hand sanitizer is available in all of the classrooms as well as in the portable bathroom facilities.
- We will be holding an all-school assembly first thing in the morning and I will be relaying the 3 items above to the students and discussing ways that we can help with the water and sewer situation.
- I also spoke with Al about looking into whether we could have the HS sewage tanks pumped out and trucked away, so that the town system is not impacted at all. He’ll be calling around tomorrow when companies are open.
- I will be seeing about ways to get groups of kids involved with the volunteer efforts that are being organized by the Fire Dept. I know they’ve done some good work already, but it would be good to build on that success.
Archive for September 5th, 2011
Editor’s Tuesday Morning Update: To help you get started with knowing what FEMA can and cannot help you with, A Woodstock Early Bird provides these links:
The Town of Woodstock will be hosting a flood response meeting Tuesday afternoon (September 6th) at 5pm at the Town Hall to hear from representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
This will NOT be the time to ask FEMA to address Individual Disaster Assistance requests. It is meant to be general information for everyone and a forum to get answers to some — but not all- questions.
The public is invited to attend and participate.
Town Manager Phil Swanson and Rep. Alison Clarkson have informed Village Trustees that Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin will make a visit to Woodstock, Vermont on Tuesday morning to speak with residents about the effects of Tropical Storm Irene and to talk about State of Vermont disaster assistance.
According to Woodstock Village officials, Shumlin is scheduled to be on the ground at 10:45a.m. and will meet Woodstock residents on the Village Green at 11 a.m.
We are hearing from indirect sources that Governor Peter Shumlin may be planning a visit to Woodstock Vermont to discuss flood response issues.
Woodstock Early Bird has NOT confirmed this directly with the Governor’s Office NOR with Rep. Alison Clarkson directly.
We will let you know when we get OFFICIAL details.
Oh dear, the cats are a bit all over the place apparently since Hurricane Irene came through.
We’ve had another report of a stray cat found about three miles up Hartland Hill Road from Woodstock just over the Hartland line.
Joann Ecker is caring for this very nervous kitty who won’t come near her except to enjoy some food, but is sure kitty wants to go home.
Is it yours? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to get you in touch with Joann
From Preston Bristow, Woodstock Town Selectman:
In another of many untold stories, Selectmen John Doten and I had a heard from Rick Shurtleff’s Maple Valley Farm and his 145 cows stranded up North Bridgewater Road in Bridgewater past the Woodstock Town line.
I’m pleased to report that the filling of the chasm on Woodstock’s side of North Bridgewater Road was finished on Sunday and the milk truck made it up to Maple Valley Farm this morning. A feed truck is to follow later today.
Woodstock Early Bird Note: We spoke to one of the guys (who came in from New York State) who helped make North Bridgwater Road passable who had just been up to check on it after Sunday night’s rains. He reports that as of Monday morning it is still passable.
Update: Early Bird has been informed by a member of her own family that this is also known as the long-standing “Little Brother’s Shower.” We thought you’d want to know.
Several Woodstock Early Birds have passed along tips for remaining clean and fresh during your Flood Response Day without using so much water. Some call this the “water conservation shower” while others describe it as “A Sailor’s Shower”:
1. Turn on shower
2. Wet Body.
3. Turn off shower.
4. Soap Up
5. Turn on Shower.
6. Rinse (Briefly!)
Eh, Voila! Fresh, clean Early Bird. Fluff feathers and be on your way…
From Bob Pear, Village Trustee and Defacto Woodstock Water Czar:
The latest info I have says that we will not be getting the 4500 gallon “water buffalo” of potable water. It seems the buffalo has strayed from its path and gotten lost.
We are now down to 15 pallets from about 60 pallets. Some of those 45 pallets that have gone out are still out there at key points, so everyone is still provided for, but what we must start doing now is boiling our tap water for consumption so we don’t run out of bottled water for those that can’t boil.
People can also buy bottled water at Mac’s and other places, (that may be even cheaper than the metered aqueduct water, ha ha). Still conserve please, we won’t be back to normal until the 8″ main is replaced, (this week I am told), and the main pump is replaced, (2 to 3 weeks I am told).
Many Woodstock Early Birds have forwarded the letter sent by Woodstock Union High School Principal Greg Schillinger stating that everything is going well and school will reopen tomorrow on Tuesday. We’ll post the letter below.
That said, WEB understands from an emergency services official (Monday morning) that the water situation is currently this:
1. All Water in Woodstock Village and West Woodstock that is tap water from Woodstock Aqueduct continues to be under a BOIL ORDER. Until a water sample can be taken and analyzed by the State of Vermont health inspectors, the BOIL ORDER will continue.
You might well ask why hasn’t a sample been taken or delivered? Reason is water is still going through a regular old hose at the Elm Street Bridge. That’s likely to indicate some additional materials in the chlorinated water. Until the water can get back into a pipes — as we understand it — and the whole water infrastructure back together, there’s apparently no point taking a water sample. This is how it has been explained to us.
2. Woodstock Elementary School is in better shape for water and sewer being in the Village than WUHS. The WES bathrooms can be flushed and used by the kids since there is water flowing into the system there, although it may increase usage.
3. Woodstock Union High School and Woodstock Union Middle School in West Woodstock are not really on-line for sewer. The school does have a plan for providing port-a-potties for students and teachers. The sewer station in West Woodstock – also according to emergency officials Monday morning — has been er, compromised, and sewer is actually being off-loaded from West Woodstock household into tanker trucks and driven away. Apparently the plan, according to a Town official, is to increase the number of waste removal trucks from West Woodstock as needed.
We assume, of course, that public safety is of paramount concern for school officials, parents and their kids.
However, what some Woodstock Early Birds would like to see is real guidance – A letter, An email – direct from the State of Vermont health officials not so much about the health and safety of the playing fields (which the schools reports having consulted the State about) but about the safety of water, sewer and general public health at the school as it might affect the entire community.
If there are e-coli or other “germs” in the water and kids start to get sick (or their parents), we may have a real widespread health emergency on our hands. Already we are hearing of very, very limited anecdotal reports of diarrhea in town. And that the Ottauquechee Health Center has very, very strict measures and protocols in place concerning their water using in that building.
When Principal Schillinger writes that the water situation is getting better and better by the day where is he getting that point of view? From Woodstock Aqueduct? From State Public Health Officials?
Here is the Back-To-School letter and update sent to Woodstock parents and Woodstock students:
Dear parents, families, and students,
What a difference a week makes. It was only a week ago, but many things have
changed for our community and for our small state. To take a moment to reflect
on where we were on Sunday, August 28 gives us the opportunity to consider what
we once took for granted. As we prepare again for the start of school, our
priorities have shifted and our sense of normal is significantly altered.
I write to inform you that despite the many things that have changed, your
Woodstock Union Middle and High School is ready to serve the young people of the
community. Both faculties met on both Thursday and Friday to prepare for the
students’ arrival on Tuesday, September 6. We spoke and planned extensively for
the first few days in order to be prepared for students who will have
encountered all types of experiences over the past week.
First, the current state of the school is relatively good. Power has been
restored completely and internet and telephone systems are operating normally.
We were very fortunate that water never entered the building itself, so clean-up
efforts were limited to outside. Along those lines, all of the lower athletic
fields were underwater and are covered by varying amounts of silt. The majority
have an inch or less of silt and the grass is growing through the layer. I have
consulted directly with the VT Department of Health which is recommending that
students stay off the lower fields for the time being. Their recommendation was
to keep athletes off the fields for two weeks and to allow the sun, the cool
nights, and the natural effects of the rain to have an effect on the thin layer
of silt. Where the silt is deeper, it is being removed by machine. While no
contaminants have been found, based on the Department of Health’s advice, I ask
that everyone stay off the lower fields for the time being. Fortunately, we are
able to use the upper, lit field, the Union Arena, and as of today, a group of
employees and volunteers have resurrected the Rock Church field. All MS
co-curricular activities are postponed for the first week, and Athletic Director
Jeff Thomas is working tirelessly to schedule practices and games in the limited
field space available. I will be consulting again with the VT Department of
Health and will keep you posted.
The status of drinking water in the Town of Woodstock continues to improve by
the day. Water is running in the school, however, the town has asked that the
water from the tap not be consumed or used for hand washing. Additionally, they
ask that we limit the use of bathroom facilities to the best of our ability. On
Friday we received over 6000 bottles of water for students and staff which will
be available throughout the school. Portable bathroom facilities are also
available around the school at a number of locations. I anticipate that the
water will be back to normal soon. I will be encouraging students to take water
home and to use the school as a distribution point for water for families.
Like the water, the situation with the roads continues to improve by the day. I
plan to have more information tomorrow, Monday, September 5 about bus
transportation to and from school. In a meeting on Friday, bus company
officials reported that routes in Woodstock, Pomfret, Barnard, and Reading are
generally in good condition. Route 4 west of the MS/HS continues to be a
challenge and changes almost hourly. While route 4 to Bridgewater is identified
as open, beyond Bridgewater it is open on a limited basis. The bus company and
school are working closely with VTrans and I will know more tomorrow, which I
will share with you as soon as the information is available.
The day on Tuesday is planned as a day of re-acclimation. Please refer to the
website for the specific schedule, but we plan an assembly, and advisory, and a
quick run-through of all eight classes. It is my hope that this schedule will
allow students to begin to turn their attention to the normal schedule of
school. Lunch is available to all students free of charge, and teachers will be
focusing on meeting students and to introducing them to the course. Additional
resources will be available to students who are struggling with the events of
the last week.
A sincere thank you to the many community members who have worked hard to make
our opening possible – we would not be as prepared as we are without your help.
I plan to send another email tomorrow, Monday, with further information about
the opening on Tuesday.
With Kind Regards,