How to help Vermont

“Who could possibly have expected Vermont, more than 100 miles from the nearest seacoast, would experience the kind of damage it received from the innocently named Irene?” Vermont-NEA leaders wrote in an email today. “The pictures in the media of mad-rushing water, age-old covered bridges being swept away, loss of electric power and road access, and loss of life are all too accurate. It still seems almost impossible to accept that a dozen different communities have lost – for the moment – all physical access to the rest of the world.

“Who could possibly have expected Vermont, more than 100 miles from the nearest seacoast, would experience the kind of damage it received from the innocently named Irene?” Vermont-NEA leaders wrote in an email today. “The pictures in the media of mad-rushing water, age-old covered bridges being swept away, loss of electric power and road access, and loss of life are all too accurate. It still seems almost impossible to accept that a dozen different communities have lost – for the moment – all physical access to the rest of the world.

“We are very concerned, at this early date, for the long-term effects on the state’s communities generally and its schools. Federal funds at best will pay for 75 percent of the damage, leaving this little state with the bill for the balance. We know that will ripple along to even less money for social services and education. We are working with NEA to develop assistance for schools and members affected directly by this storm. Donations will be greatly appreciated. We recommend they be sent to the United Way’s Vermont Disaster Relief Fund online. Thanks to all for your good wishes and ongoing great work.”

 .