Disaster Recovery in Norridgewock, Maine


In July of 2009, after
months of rain and flooding, a federal disaster was
declared in Maine. Communities worked with FEMA officials to
recover from damages. Shot of Norridgewock town seal. ROBERT HIGGINS:
The town of Norridgewock had a landslide that ended up being a double landslide on the roadway into
the river. The landslides of Maine are unique. MICHELLE FLEWELLING:
It probably started raining here, in the central Maine region where
Norridgewock is located, about the middle of May and really didn’t stop until probably about the beginning of August. The rain was such that it kept the river levels up at the sandy river so high that it ended up eroding the bank, which undermined the trees,
which took the bank with it. GALEN COSTIGAN:
From what we assessed yesterday, taking a look at it, it’s probably approximately 25 feet from the road level down to the stream level at this time. So
that water came up 20-25 feet. The soils here are basically clay-type soils and we just had a big fault,
and it slid into the river. There was cracking out in the roadway itself,
so stress cracks, which leads us to believe that this place is in danger
of maybe having more damage done. FLEWELLING:
The sandy river road is important to the town. It connects a large number of farms; it
is a school bus-traveled route. Because it is a farming area,
there’s a lot of corn harvesting that needs to go on, as well as hay crops that need to be moved. The weather, as it has been in the last three months, has resulted in more work for our town’s public works crew. We have a work crew of about five gentlemen. They do a great deal of work,and these events have caused extreme delays in their
regular scheduled work. RON LOOMIN:
Okay we’ll go over the contents of your packet first. HIGGINS:
The public assistance disaster briefings ‘ it helps these rural communities really understand the paperwork
that’s necessary. LOOMIN:
The project worksheet initiates the funding, which is appropriated to the state. Once we get the project worksheet, we send the money to you — the applicant —
the 75 percent share immediately. HIGGINS:
Come to these briefings. It provides the step-to-step process. LOOMIN:
Okay ‘ factors of eligibility. You must have all these factors. First, you must be eligible
as an applicant. FLEWELLING:
The PA briefing the other day was very helpful. It provided me with a lot of information that I need to have going through this application process for the first
time. COSTIGAN:
Did you have any emergency ‘ remember we talked about emergency
protective measures yesterday. FLEWELLING:
The kickoff meeting after the PA briefing provided even more information,
more in-depth information, and we also had the opportunity to have some one-on-on time with the representative from FEMA, to help answer and additional
questions that we may have had. COSTIGAN:
The questions she asked was, you know, what is eligible, what can we do, can we move the road onto the other side and get reimbursed for it? I tried to answer all her questions. She needed to know what she needed for documentation to come up with an idea of what we’re going to do to fix it, write up a project worksheet. They’re going to give me the bills that they’ve incurred
already to do protective measures here. LOOMIN:
In the future, if we ever have a lot of debris and a lot of it’s on private property, what you want to do is have them bring it curbside for pickup, okay. FLEWELLING:
I’m very optimistic that the town of Norridgewock and the state of Maine and FEMA can work together. If the rest of this process goes anywhere near the beginning of this process has, I have no doubt that we’ll be able to come together for this and find out the best possible solution and take
care of our issues. For more information,
go to www.fema.gov.

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