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July 11. 2013 9:50PM

Flooded Upper Valley fights back


Volunteers from New Hampshire and Vermont helped clear mud at Rivermere Community Housing apartments on Slayton Hill Road in Lebanon last Saturday. (Sharon L. Stacy)

LEBANON — Some families remain displaced as a result of last week's flooding, but most have returned to homes with water and electricity restored.

"We had a very rough week. We're still getting anywhere from heavy to moderate rain spells as we go through," repairing roads and waterlines, said Jeffrey Libbey, Lebanon's assistant fire chief.

The forecast includes thunderstorms through Saturday, but a clearing trend is predicted into next week, according to AccuWeather.com

In Lebanon, the hardest-

hit areas include the Slayton Hill Road, Tannery Lane and Dulac Street neighborhoods, where the affordable housing complex Rivermere Community Housing was devastated by mud and water damage.

To restore water to that neighborhood, a temporary water main was installed, Libby said. A permanent water main is still needed, he said.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials visited this week to assess damage, as well as a geologist sent by the state to evaluate the cause of the Slayton Hill Road landslide.

Andrew Winter is president of The Twin Pines Housing Trust, which had opened 21-unit Rivermere shortly before the flooding. He said out of the 17 occupied units, all 17 families were displaced.

Fortunately one side of the complex was undamaged.

"We were able to move back 10 families over the weekend after electricity to the neighborhood was restored and we determined there was no damage to the water and sewer lines," Winter said.

This week, another four families were moved into previously unoccupied apartments that the trust had a long waiting list for, Winter said.

The hope is the remaining three families can be moved back into Rivermere in the next two to three weeks, he said.

"We have $400,000 worth of damage to the site, to the units themselves, in terms of cost of relocating tenants and in terms of design improvement so it doesn't happen again or we are protected from it if it happens again. So we have a long ways to go," Winter said.

Thankfully, nonprofit housing is eligible for FEMA funds, Winter said.

Helping Rivermere since the July 2 floods has been an army of volunteers from across New Hampshire and Vermont, said volunteer photographer Sharon L. Stacy. She said some volunteers drove over 90 minutes to help. Local teens spent the weekend helping to clear mud from apartments so residents could return.mpierce@newstote.com


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