Thanks to the hard work and amazing generosity of people and organizations from all over the United States, the Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery reconstruction season has begun!
Over spring break, nearly 100 college students from a Christian campus organization—CRU, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ—arrived to help clear brush, haul “ash and trash,” and supply muscle power as needed to clear fire and flood debris. The following week, volunteers from the Dawn Patrol, a men's fellowship group out of Chehalis, Washington, brought excavators and dump trucks to break up burned foundations, haul away metal and concrete, and move earth in preparation for new construction. Meanwhile, the Americorps Silver 5 team has cleared burnt timber, bagged donated clothing for resale, repaired fences, planted trees, and generally made themselves invaluable...all in preparation for...
Last week (April 25-May 1), nine volunteers from Western Anabaptist Ministry Services traveled from Montana to pour four foundations in as many days. The foundations were the first for 11 new homes targeted for rebuild under Phase One of the Carlton Complex Long Term Recovery effort.
Chuck Johnson, a 59-year-old Army veteran, was among the fire survivors to get a new foundation. Johnson -- whose leveled home had no plumbing or power, just a Coleman stove and gravity-fed water -- said that without help, he wouldn't have even considered rebuilding. "No way. I don't have the money." But thanks to skilled volunteer labor and the generosity of strangers, Johnson will get a new home.
All 11 property owners who are in line to get new homes this summer were well vetted, using strict criteria.
All of them lost a primary residence in the Carlton Complex Fire, the Rising Eagle Fire or a subsequent mudslide.
All of them were either uninsured or underinsured -- and those with insurance are putting that money toward rebuilding.
All of them lost their primary residence, and all of them plan to live primarily in the new home that is built for them.
All have agreed to be as active as possible in the rebuilding effort.
Meanwhile, a group of volunteers from North Creek Presbyterian Church, in Mill Creek, WA, plans to frame two homes on the coast and truck them over the Cascades for assembly on-site in the burn area.
On May 18, 18-20 Western Anabaptist Ministry Services carpenters will arrive and start framing homes. They will be in Okanogan County for two weeks and will frame (dry-in) two homes each week.
On May 23, Mennonite Disaster Service crews will start arriving. A head couple will stay for five-six weeks, while rotating crews of eight will come in each week to put up siding and complete interiors. At the end of six weeks, a second head couple will arrive and continue the process for a total of 10-12 weeks.
On June 1, CPS--Christian Public Service--another Mennonite group, is slated to arrive. They will frame (dry-in) the remaining four homes and then start working on interiors.
We are still looking for certified electricians and plumbers who would be willing to donate their time. Those certified to install heating and cooling systems are also needed.
Anyone willing to donate to the effort can mail a check to CCLRG, PO Box 655,Pateros, WA 98846, or donate online right here: carltoncomplexrecovery.com.