"At my age, which is 82, it's basically having to start all over again," Dottie Casciotta said.
Casciotta says fresh starts can be great, but the road to recovery after Tropical Storm Irene has been a bumpy ride. Casciotta says she purchased her Stockbridge property in 1967 and imagined it would always be a place for her family to call home.
"I always thought that I would be here, and when I wasn't here anymore that they would still be able to enjoy, plus my grandchildren! But of course that's not possible. I think that was the hardest thing," she said.
Two years ago Wednesday, the tropical storm hit and devastated hundreds of homes across Vermont. Casciotta was out of town for the storm, and says coming home to the wreckage was devastating. Her house was still standing, but she lost everything inside.
"That was quite painful in that almost all of the pictures I had were beyond saving at all," Casciotta said.
Two years have passed and Casciotta is still waiting for a buyout. More than anything, she says, she wishes she could renovate and move back home. In order to have a Federal Emergency Management Agency buyout, no houses can be rebuilt where the flood hit.
Casciotta isn't alone; out of 99 buyouts in the state, there are still 19 pending applications. Although time has passed, there are still 155 open cases with the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.
"We just stood there and watched the brook come up and flood us," Glenn Eldredge said. "I wasn't scared... You are just numb."
Eldredge, another Stockbridge resident, says since Irene, he has been moving forward. The home he raised a family in was filled with 5 feet of water. He was able to salvage his woodworking tools.
"Here I am two years later, happier than I was two years before," Eldredge said.
And the rest, he says, will only be a memory of the past he is ready to leave behind.
Both Casciotta and Eldredge say it was help from the community that got them where they are today. They expect to hear about a buyout within 6 to 8 weeks.
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:32 AM EST2013-12-12 05:32:39 GMT
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward. The Seneca Mountain project calls for 20 turbines on ridge lines inMore >>
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:37 PM EST2013-12-12 04:37:09 GMT
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel. Authorities say it happened Wednesday morning at a farm on Shoreham Depot Road in Shoreham. They say anMore >>
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:34 PM EST2013-12-12 04:34:11 GMT
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child. MoreMore >>
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 5:19 PM EST2013-12-11 22:19:28 GMT
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley. James Oberfeldt, 30, of Claremont, is currently jailed in Massachusetts on a drug charge. Police say he's been identifiedMore >>
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:54 PM EST2013-12-11 23:54:10 GMT
Two men are behind bars after a burglary in St. Albans. Police arrested James Perron, 27, of St. Albans, and Eric Walsh, 34, Tuesday for allegedly stealing a safe containing $15,000 in cash. It happenedMore >>
Two men are behind bars in connection with a burglary in St. Albans.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:53 PM EST2013-12-12 00:53:13 GMT
Two Plattsburgh State students are under arrest in connection with a brawl outside a fraternity house. It happened last month outside the Alpha Chi Rho (AXP) house on Brinkerhoff Street. Police say itMore >>
Authorities say allegations of a sexual assault in Plattsburgh led to a brawl. Now, some fraternity brothers are facing charges and more could be coming.More >>