Piece by piece Karen Borden's life is being put back together after Irene.
For the last two years she has called this place home, but just one week ago this house wasn't here.
"Just picture this house sitting on the ground and the water was so high it went up through the windows," she says.
She stayed in her home during the first night of the tropical storm but then had to evacuate.
Her home was completely destroyed. She had to move in to an apartment one town over, but she had no long-term plans in place.
I didn't think I would ever be back here living," she says. "I was ready to put a tent up for the summer or whatever I could do because there wasn't any fixing the old place."
In March she was connected with Leslie Breakstone, a flood recovery specialist at Central Vermont Community Action.
"I try to locate resources, especially funding, to help people recover," Breakstone says.
Her job is to find volunteer groups and state services available to the victims on her case load.
"Karen's case is a little bit extreme her home is a total rebuild," she says.
Karen's home sits where the Byum and Gilead Brooks come together. They are the exact water ways that wiped out her house in the first place, but they decided to rebuild on scene. This time they put the house on three-foot cement risers so if and when the water floods again it will go underneath the house and not through it.
"There was a tremendous amount of mold. The whole sil around the perimeter of the house was all rotted out. A lot of the floor joints were rotted," says worker Bob Clavelle.
Bob Clavelle and his team reached out to Leslie's team at CVCA. They came forward with money and materials, looking for any way to help.
This group of volunteers ages 12-65 from St. Anothony's Church in White River Junction usually head south for Habitat for Humanity projects, but this year they decided to stay closer to home.
"I do not think we could have gotten a better match than doing this home," Clavelle says. "She had nobody that was going to touch this house. It's local, it's easy for us and we are helping a Vermonter."
In one week's time they demo'ed the old house, built up this frame and put on siding. In Karen's eyes they are more than just volunteers: she calls them her little angels.
"I feel like a miracle happened in my life and I needed one at that point," Borden says.
Proof that if put you want to test the strength of a community, just add water.
The Youth Group will work through the end of the week -- then a hand full of contractors will wrap up the build. They hope to have Borden moved in by the end of July.
Tuesday, December 10 2013 11:41 AM EST2013-12-10 16:41:55 GMT
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