Alex Iwashyna didn’t realize how many of her neighbors in Richmond, Va., had backup generators until her own family bought one in the dark days after Hurricane Irene. As she endured the drone of a combustion engine in her backyard, she noticed the same steady noise from neighbors’ homes.
“I mean we joke about preparing for the apocalypse and stuff,” Iwashyna said. “We’ve had an earthquake, a hurricane and a wildfire in Virginia … it would have never occurred to me to get one until we lost power for that amount of time.”
Homeowners around the nation have endured a nasty run of power-disrupting storms, and sales of portable power generators have been brisk, industry officials say. The “big box” stores such as Lowes and Wal-Mart did not release sales information, but according to one manufacturer, Briggs & Stratton Corp., Irene led to a spike in sales. While things have slowed since then, “we are continuing to see an uptick in demand,” said Briggs spokeswoman Laura Timm.
In some places, the drone of generators is becoming as common during blackouts as lawnmowers are on summer Saturdays.
“I think we’ve gotten into a pattern of more severe weather events, whether it’s snow or ice or rain or wind, you’re just losing power,” said Kris Kiser, who heads the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, a trade group. “And I think people are more comfortable now with, `Hey, my neighbor has this generator and maybe I should try it next year.’”
From - forbes.com
I was lucky enough to have a generator during Irene. However, the first day of the storm was so fierce, I didn’t dare go outdoors to set it up…the rain was coming down in buckets, horizontally. And there was the small matter of being out of gas for it. (I would have never made it as a Boy Scout.) But in a twist of irony, the next day was beautifully sunny. I set it up and was able to cool the refrigerators down, pump some water, charge up my electronics, cook some food, etc. I used to think it was a luxury…and I suppose it is. I mainly got it because of my ex. But it sure was nice luxury to have! Thank you ex! - Waterman12053
Volunteers still needed for Irene cleanup in the Catskills
Six weeks after Irene, Dorothy Maffei, the owner of Home Goods in Margaretville, is still coordinating flood relief volunteers in the town of Middletown. She tells us that volunteers are getting pretty thin on the ground, even though the need is still great.
The Watershed Post will be regularly posting Maffei’s volunteer needs for Middletown. Right now, here is what is needed. To help out, contact Maffei directly by emailing her at email@example.com.
We need volunteers this weekend and next:
We continue to need help with cleaning out, ripping out sheetrock and paneling, and with assisting the Sweep Team and the Volunteer Center.
We need people to help with furniture pick-up and delivery. Any people w/ trucks would be great.
We are still in need of sofas and easy chairs that are in excellent shape.
We need people who can shop for specific things in Delhi, Kingston or Oneonta for us.
Maffei also tells us that a good Samaritan has started a new website, Rebuild123.org, to help her and other long-term volunteer coordinators meet needs in their flood-damaged communities. The site lists needs and contact information for individual coordinators for communities across the Catskills, and is adding new regions daily. Check it out.
From - watershedpost.com
Schoharie Rocks For Irene Victims
A day of rock music under a tent in the village of Schoharie was headlined Saturday by local elementary school students whose lyrics captured the spirit of the county.
“That brought tears to my eyes,” said Michael Bennett, the charity event’s emcee, who was moved by the positive message in their song. “These kids went through a devastation. They lived it.”
The day, Schoharie Valley Rock’N’Roll Flood Relief Concert, was sponsored by the Schoharie Kiwanis Club and served as a fundraiser for the Schoharie County Community Action Program. The event featured local bands, including M-16, Erin Harkes and Bar Stool Orphans, that rocked through the afternoon and into the evening.
The child performers were almost entirely from Karen Yager’s fourth-grade class at Schoharie Elementary School, where the song was designed with the help of Richie Phillips. Phillips, who is the co-host of the Sean and Richie Show on radio station WGNA (107.7 FM), has typically helped area schools write funny, lighthearted songs through his reading, writing and rhyming program. “And then all these disasters hit,” he said, explaining the serious shift.
Using lyrics suggested by the children and a tune Phillips had devised, the group crafted a song in about an hour. A fi nal performance made its way onto WGNA’s website, where the audio went somewhat viral and received about 5,000 listens.
Phillips is also thinking about working on a follow-up, as his music program in schools continues. He thought his next piece could focus on the rebuilding efforts that people are engaged in since the flood.
“I was thinking about doing a complete rebuilding tour,” he said. “These people need help on a continuous basis.” Those people include some of Yager’s students, who were directly impacted by the flooding. Yager said she was lucky, because her home in Schenectady was spared, but three students had their lives uprooted. “I had three kids in my classroom who lost their home. It was tough, but kids are resilient,” she said.
Donations can be mailed to:
Schoharie Flood Aid 2011
c/o Schoharie Kiwanis
P.O. Box 305
Schoharie, NY 12157
From - dailygazette.com