Norwich Faces Road Repairs and FEMA Paperwork
Town zoning administrator Phil Dechert was back on duty as acting town manager in the aftermath of last weekend's storm. (Recently appointed town manager Herb Durfee had just left for vacation.) By early Sunday evening Dechert had driven 85 percent of the town's highways and had written an inventory of places that had been totally washed out and repaired; places that were passable, but needed repair; and a list of private roads and drives cut off from the main road.
The purpose of the inventory, besides keeping track for town crews, was the start of a chain of paperwork that will eventually be submitted to FEMA. The federal government has programs to help states, towns and private owners cope with the heavy cost of natural disasters.
The final cost, while yet to be tabulated, will be steep. Massive amounts of rocks, crushed stone and gravel were hauled into town all day Sunday—typically a day off for workers. Then there were the equipment operators pressed into service to put that material into place. By Sunday afternoon the worst washouts— Rt 5, Four Wheel Drive, the intersection of New Boston Road and Norford Lake Road— had been fixed. But other roads, such as Turnpike Road and Tigertown Road still had damage— but were passable. (Hiker's take note: Gile Mountain Trail is closed until further notice because of muddy conditions on the trail and the poor condition of Turnpike Road.)
Repairs continue. During the early hours of the July 4 holiday cars were few on Main Street, but there were plenty of dump trucks going back and forth.
The same section of Four Wheel Drive after the storm.