Volunteers told no help was needed
Hard to believe this sort of thing is still happening in this day and age. The Steuben House in Bergen, New Jersey suffered damage with 28 inches of water from a storm 15 April 2007. Joseph Ax, staff writer for the local newspaper, The Record, reports:
"State legislators and members of the Bergen County Historical Society, whichFor the full story see:
owns the collection, are blaming the department's Division of Parks and Forestry, which operates the house and is responsible for securing its items during a storm.
Amy Cradic, assistant commissioner of natural and historic resources with the DEP, said the on-site employee, Andrew Anderson, spent two days moving furniture and other artifacts to the second floor and the attic. "We took appropriate action based on our experience with past floods and the information available about the storm," she said. "It was an extraordinary weather event."
But Tim Adriance of the historical society said that the first-floor collection has always been moved to the second floor during severe storms, and he claimed that nearly 1,000 items suffered damage, of which only a handful are big enough to make moving them difficult or impossible. Those items, he said, should have been placed on tables. Many of the smaller items were housed inside cabinets. "There were plenty of volunteers available," he said. Members of the historical society offered to help April 15 during the storm and were told that no assistance was necessary, he
"It's just so aggravating," said state Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk, R-Westwood, who visited the damaged house at New Bridge Landing last week. "Heads should roll."
Ol' Myrt couldn't agree more. Haven't our friends in power in the state of New Jersey learned anything from those of us who have suffered through the hurricanes these past last several years? Certainly since the late 1700s, something could be devised to preserve such documents and antiquities. As registered voters, we must instruct our state legislators to ensure that this sort of thing does not happen in our ancestors' home states.
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