While the federal government and relief organizations were mobilizing to help victims of Hurriane Sandy, so were many members of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), according to a press release.
“Calls from our members all over the country inundated FMCA’s Cincinnati headquarters,” says Jerry Yeatts, executive director of FMCA. “They wanted to assist members who were affected by the severe storm. They also asked how they could help the millions of Americans who never stepped into an RV.”
While many FMCA members are helping individually, FMCA’s board and staff decided the best way to help the most people in the most efficient way was to encourage its 90,000 members to contact established relief agencies directly.
To this end, FMCA issued a letter to all its members encouraging them to work with agencies like the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, as these organizations have established protocols to organize volunteers and collect donations. The letter even provided direct links to these organizations.
“We are proud that so many members immediately stepped up to help those who need it in the aftermath of such an awful event,” adds Yeatts.
Sandy continues to create problems at three of West Virginia’s favorite state parks, the State Journal, Charleston, reported.
Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley Resort in Tucker County are dealing with power outages like most of the county. Power is out at both parks and park officials hope by sometime next week to resume operations.
Staff at Holly River State Park in Webster County is cutting their way through downed trees to create access to the park for additional assistance. A hillside slip at Holly River also has blocked road access to the park cabin area. Employees from Pipestem Resort State Park sent assistance after that park resumed operation.
Superintendents from Cedar Creek in Gilmer County went to check on Holly River employees and guests and met Superintendent Ken McClintic sawing his way out of the park to create access and to aid cabin guests as they were sawing their way in. Other Holly River employees also were working on gaining access.
“Systemwide we have a lot of dedicated superintendent and employees,” said Brad Reed, district administrator for West Virginia State Parks. “Storms of this nature are overwhelming by the sheer amount of trees and power outages. Our employees also have to be mindful of guests on the areas and their safety or evacuation as well as being the muscle behind the chainsaws, plows and shovels.”
State Campground Association Reports
In Maryland, Vicki Vitkum, co-owner of the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Hagerstown, reported, “We lost one cabin deck due to a tree and our T1 line was out until Friday, so we didn’t have phones or Internet.”
In Pennsylvania, Beverly Gruber, executive director of the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA), said, “The PCOA office (in New Tripoli) didn’t have electricity until Friday and we know some in the Poconos are still without power. Nobody has called for assistance, however.”
In Connecticut, private parks managed to escape, for the most part, Sandy’s wrath.
“Power outages, communication outages and branches down, some on a few trailers,” said Sandra Brown, executive director of the Connecticut Campground Owners Association (CCOA) in summing up for Woodall’s Campground Management the private parks’ damage. “There are no parks in the southwestern section of Connecticut. That is where the worst damage was done. Last year’s hurricane Irene and the October snow storm did more damage.”
Meanwhile, Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, Conn., reopened on Saturday.
State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Daniel C. Etsy noted there still is a great deal of work to be done, especially at the coastal parks, the Shoreline Times, New Haven, reported.
Esty commended staff for their work during and after the storm.
“I want to thank all of the DEEP staff who worked so hard before, during, and after Hurricane Sandy to prepare our parks for the storm, and get them re-opened to the public as soon as possible,” he said.
This past week, the site has been utilized as a staging area for utilities and debris management contractors.
DEEP spokesman Dennis Schain said this was the only reason the park was closed, and there wasn’t any significant damage done to the state park.
The public will be able to access East Beach and Meigs Point, but West Beach and Middle Beach will remain closed.
Those areas are still being utilized for maintenance trucks.
Park visitors are asked to use caution on trails and forest roads, as some debris has not been cleared.