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Stockbridge campground still feeling Irene's impacts - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Stockbridge campground still feeling Irene's impacts

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STOCKBRIDGE, Vt. -

"I hear the rushing water and I can't -- it just makes me relive it every day," said Rebecca Smith.

Smith said she still can't bear the sound of the river next to the campground she and her husband have owned since 2004. White River Valley Camping was hit hard by Tropical Storm Irene and the Smith's said they will need at least $275,000 dollars by June to keep the business going.

The Smiths said they have applied to half a dozen loans and have contacted over 100 agencies, businesses, and even sports teams -- asking for support. The couple said they have not received any significant financial assistance or help from the town.

"It's like during the hurricane when we were up to our necks in water -- nobody bothered to yell down here and see if we needed any help," Drew Smith said.

The couple moved their family from California nearly a decade ago after purchasing the campground. They said since moving here, they have felt alienated -- especially after Irene devastated the community.  

But Stockbridge Selectmen Mark Doughty said the town has sent numerous resources to the campground since the storm.  "Over the course of time we sent the National Guard down there, we sent Bernie Sanders -- senate representative -- down there to see if they were good. We had Vermont Law School in there looking to see what they could do legally to help them. So to say that the town hasn't done anything for them, I think that is a little disingenuous," Doughty said.

Doughty said that after the disaster, the town immediately complied a list of people in direct harms way and needed help first -- and the campground was on that list. Doughty said even to this day, when volunteers come to Stockbridge, he thinks of the Smiths. "I always try to point them that way, down to the campground, and I usually never hear back from them. We still try to do what we can for them," he said.

Regardless of the dispute, Doughty said he hopes the best for the campground and recognizes the business it brings the town. "It would be a shame to lose that campground. It is a huge economic drive for the community," he said.

And the Smiths said they are not going to hold any grudges. "My door is still open," Drew Smith said.  "Come on down and I'll offer you a beer or a soda pop."

A business impacted by Irene, still trying to navigate the rough waters left in its wake. 

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