By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, May 23, 2006
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- Residents at Taylor River Estates blasted town officials Monday, stating they felt abandoned by the town last week in their time of need.
Taylor River Estates was one of the hardest hit areas during four days of torrential downpours, where roughly 10 homes on the street were damaged due to flooding from the river.
"We went through this alone," said resident Mary Boynton. "I want to know where were the town officials."
Boynton said residents called local officials, concerned about the dam being blocked at Taylor River and they were referred to the state. The state did nothing about it until it was too late and water from the river closed down part of Interstate 95.
"This property is in the town of Hampton," said another resident. "I don’t care if it’s the state’s responsibility."
Residents said if the problem with the dam had been addressed, there wouldn’t have been as much damage. Two homes were completely gutted because of the flood.
Selectman Bill Lally called the entire situation an embarrassment.
"The Boyntons are absolutely right," Lally said. "This is an embarrassment. I know at times you have to prioritize different areas, but Taylor River needs to be a priority."
Selectmen told the residents they plan to invite the state to their next meeting to see what happened.
Residents said they were also concerned that the town didn’t set up an office for emergency management, where residents could call.
Fire Chief Hank Lipe said the reason why an emergency office wasn’t open was because he needed to be in the field due to the staff shortage rather than answering phone calls.
Selectman Rick Griffin blasted Lipe, stating, "You came down to give answers, but I don’t think we are getting anything but excuses."
Boynton and other residents also requested the town pick up their trash. While the town offered to pick up flood debris throughout town, residents at Taylor River Estates don’t have trash pick up because it’s a privately owned street.
Selectmen agreed Monday night to have the Department of Public Works pick up trash today and next week to help in the clean up.