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Monkton firehouse open Wednesday for storm refugees

MONKTON — While this week’s windstorm felled many trees and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of Vermonters, it also brought out the best in some people.
Town Clerk Sharon Gomez opened the Monkton Firehouse off State’s Prison Hollow Road as a respite center on Wednesday for those who still didn’t have electricity. Anyone is welcome between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to come take a shower (bring your own towel, please), have a cup of coffee or chicken noodle soup, and play a kids’ game if you like.
Monkton had its share of homes and businesses without power even on Wednesday. The storm that passed through Vermont late Sunday and early Monday had hurricane-force winds. Monkton Central School, like the other schools in the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union, was closed Monday. Gomez learned from Green Mountain Power on Tuesday that 500 customers in town didn’t have power as of late Tuesday. Her home on Bristol Monkton Road was one of them.
“We have a generator, but many people don’t,” she said.
Two people who were without electricity came into the town offices on Tuesday and asked where they could take a shower. That got Gomez thinking about how the town could help. After talking with other town officials, she decided to open the firehouse for awhile on Wednesday to provide a small measure of comfort to those who just needed a shower.
“It’s not a big deal,” Gomez said on Wednesday morning as she opened up the firehouse and got it ready for visitors.
Wednesday, by the way, is Gomez’s day off. 

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