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Smith Island United Committee For Tornado Relief - Meeting Minutes
     August 12, 2022 Meeting     August 23, 2022 Meeting

 

Update: September 16, 2022
Tornado - Rhodes Point - 8/4/2022

On Wednesday, September 14th, the Smith Island United Committee for Tornado Relief met to discuss the first round of the issuance of checks to the uninsured tornado damage claimants. The committee decided and voted unanimously to issue funds based on the applications submitted for most of the uninsured. There were a couple of applications that the committee needed to clarify some of the information on the form. Those people will be contacted to get the needed information. These first round of checks will total approximately $34,000 that will take care of approximately 50% of claims submitted. The funds will be dispersed within the next 10 days. This leaves 13 claimants that have insurance. Most of the insured claimants had significant damage with some being totally destroyed. The issuance of funds to these claimants will take time due to the process of getting the proper information from the insurance companies. This information will be used to base the appropriate amount of funds issued to the claimants. We thank you for your patience.


Eddie Somers

President, Smith Island United

www.smithislandunited.com

  


August 25, 2022
Tornado - Rhodes Point - 8/4/2022

The Smith Island United Executive Committee voted today to waive the requirement for an independant approval for small claims (small claims are defined as $5,000 and under).

 As of yesterday afternoon the total amount donated to Smith Island United for tornado relief is $63,036. Thank you all until a more appropriate thanks comes. The Smith Island United Committee for Tornado Relief met on Tuesday. We will be posting the minutes from that meeting very soon. The committee will also be having a phone conference shortly. Please be patient and know that we are working to get our procedures for dispersing funds.

Here are some of the things decided so far-

1. 100% of the funds will ONLY be used for claims arising from the Tornado

2. All of the claims has been submitted to us in writing

3. Claims WITH insurance will be addressed AFTER claim has been closed. (this could be closed with or without payment) this is to ENSURE we are not double paying a claim

4. Food claims were capped at $250.00 like insurance companies would do

5. Business Loss and loss of wages will be moved to the bottom until the personal needs are met or fulfilled

6. First checks will be dispersed up to $5000 for first round of checks (first round included, food, medicine, certain damages, some business losses ( crabpots etc)

7. We are consulting with different organizations on how to disperse the checks fairly and equitably. (Church groups, accountants etc)

Eddie Somers
President
www.smithislandunited.com

  

August 20, 2022
Tornado - Rhodes Point - 8/4/2022
We want all the church goups, foundations, individuals, kids, businesses, and fellow Islanders to know how much your donations directly to Smith Island United and to Jay's go fund me page have touched our hearts. As of this afternoon donations made directly to Smith Island United are at approximately $38,000.

 

August 19, 2022
Tornado - Rhodes Point - 8/4/2022
Officials from Somerset County Planning and Zoning will be coming over on Monday, August 22 to get an assessment of damages the tornado did to "HOMES". Only homes not sheds or other items. This is important for their report to the state and federal government. They want to be certain that they do not miss any home that was damaged no matter how small. They are going to need property owners permission to look at damage. If you are a homeowner or a representative of a home owner please contact Eddie at 443 614 1903 or esomers@verizon.net today with your name, address, and phone number so I can pass it on to them.


August 18, 2022
Tornado - Rhodes Point - 8/4/2022

A special thanks to Somerset County Roads for completing the debris removal that had been gathered by volunteers from Cutting Crew Lawn Care, Oak Ridge Baptists Church, Christ United Methodist Church, and Island Volunteers. 

 

August 17, 2022
Tornado - Rhodes Point - 8/4/2022
Smith Island United Committee For Tornado Relief
  - Minutes of the 1st Meeting of the Initial Assessment August 12, 2022
                Read .pdf version      Read Word .docx Version


August 15, 2022
Tornado - Rhodes Point - 8/4/2022


This is just an FYI- the county is in constant contact with us. Their trucks will be coming Monday, weather permitting and will be taking care of the pile of debris. Thanks to them.

On Saturday the Smith Island United Committee for Tornado Relief had it's first meeting (this is the 7 person committee). We will be getting an overview of the meeting out as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience.

Tornado clean-up update
I am sorry for the delay in the clean up process. We have been working around the clock to secure and organize all the amazing volunteers that have offered their time , skills, equipment and manpower to graciously help Smith Island recover from this devastating event. We appreciate everyone's patience and understanding as we worked through logistics, scheduling and  organizing
The clean-up process.
Eddie Somers has put in countless hours to put us in contact with these amazing groups. We are so extremely grateful for Cutting Crew Lawn Care they really made a huge difference and their time and work is priceless. I know that we are all anxious to see some more progress and try to regain some normalcy and move forward. There will be a lot going on this week here on the Island . Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns or to discuss your needs. Tomorrow, Monday August 15th We have two groups of volunteer crews coming over We have Jeff Finney and Darryl Webster from Christ United Methodist Church in Salisbury, they have graciously offered to come on stay on Island for a couple of days and longer if needed. We also have Gary McCabe from Oakridge Baptist Church in Salisbury coming with a crew and also have graciously offered to come back as/if needed. County trucks will also be arriving tomorrow (weather permitting) to start the process of removing these debris piles
A huge thank you in advance to Somerset County and all of these extremely generous volunteers . Smith Island greatly appreciates you all.
 

August 12, 2022
Tornado - Rhodes Point - 8/4/2022

Earlier this week Janet Tyler EMS Captain, Pastor Everett Landon, and Eddie Somers Smith Island United met to update each other on progress being made. The first several days the Ewell Vol Fire Dept led the tornado relief efforts and have been working, and this is an understatement, hard. I think most of you know that, but it needs to be said they have done an outstanding job. At this meeting all three of us agreed that we are now at the point in this effort for Smith Island United to start leading the efforts to coordinate the cleanup. There was a group that had scheduled to bring 20 volunteers today that did not work out. This has caused a delay and we are now working to schedule a crew from Christ United Methodist Church to come as soon as details are worked out (most of you know Jeff Finney and Darryl Webster who have doing volunteer work on the Island for years it is their group). We have other groups that are on standby, and we will have a better feel when Jeff’s group comes as to whether we need more help with debris removal. Thanks to Cindy for the help with this.

There have been media reports that other groups are taking the lead in this effort. Some of these groups have not been able to get the help needed to come over on the island (my delay comment above). I feel the need to make it clear that Smith Island United now and in the foreseeable future is better equipped, better at understanding and coordinating the logistics, and with the diverse membership we have which includes CPAs, attorneys, bankers, etc. and lots of hard-working people will be able to lead this effort. Our membership is also smart enough and our egos small enough to know when and if we reach a point that we cannot lead this effort we will ask for help in leading. That is not to say that we do not want the groups that have been reaching out to us to stop that contact. We do need help but not at the leadership level.

Contact Information:
Eddie Somers Smith Island United
esomers@smithislandunited.com  / 443-614-1903

If you cannot reach Eddie, call Janet Tyler, EMS  443,235,3992


August 11, 2022
Tornado - Rhodes Point - 8/4/2022

   Last night, August 10, 2022, the Smith Island United Executive Committee met via phone conference along with one member of our Advisory Board, Mark Nelson CPA. This meeting has laid the groundwork for how Smith Island United (SIU) will handle the Tornado Disaster Relief Fund that has been very generously created by Jay Fleming’s go fund me page and by people and organizations donating directly to SIU. We voted on four things, and they are-
   
1.    We will hire an accountant firm to manage the fund.
   
2.    We will find an independent person or entity who will make the decision regarding the approval of a claim and the amount the person or business filing the claim will receive.
    3.    Invoices and any other paperwork relating to the dispersal of funds will be required before SIU will reimburse a property owner for damage. One example of this is that any construction related materials will be purchased thru a local home center where we will have an account set up. The contractor or group that are doing the work will place the order designating the order by the name of the property owner and our accountant will pay the vendor. INVOICES AND PROPER PAPERWORK WILL BE REQUIRED. SMITH ISLAND UNITED IS IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR CHOOSING THE CONTRACTOR OR GROUP THAT WILL DO REPAIRS. THAT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROPERTY OWNER.
   
4.    We voted to approve the 7-person committee (Eddie Somers SIU, Pastor Everett Landon, Janet Tyler EMS Capt, Duke Marshal Marshall’s Ins. Co., Scott Andreozzi community member, John Tyler community member, and Jay Fleming adopted community member ??). This committee will work for and take direction from the SIU Executive Committee and has been tasked with two jobs. They will set the guidelines for prioritization (for lack of a better term the pecking order of importance of needs by property owner) of the claims and will then receive and present the applications to the SIU Executive Committee. The executive committee will then vote to approve the application and present it to the independent person or entity who will make the final decision.
   
Smith Island United will be happy to talk or work with any volunteer groups that want to help with the recovery effort. We will not be tied to any one group or organization that wants to help. We will work will all groups and agencies. 
   
Regarding the donations we are receiving we have two main responsibilities. They are that we are responsible for helping property owners and we are responsible to the people and groups that have very generously donated money.


August 7, 2022
Tornado - Rhodes Point - 8/4/2022
:
Smith Island United has formed a committee that will be working towards dispersing monetary donations that we receive for tornado related damage. The seven person committee is Janet Tyler-EMS Captain, Pastor Everett Landon, Eddie Somers-Smith Island United, Johnny Crantz Tyler, Scott Andreozzi, Duke Marshall, and Jay Fleming. A form will need to be filled out by those who have been impacted by the tornado. The form will be available Tuesday and will be used to help Smith Island United disperse the funds and to help with cleanup efforts. Please note, this is not an insurance claim form. Pastor Everett Landon will be overseeing this process and can be reached at 410-968-3517 or text at 443-783-2079.

Wednesday, Cutting Crew Lawn Care, who have donated their time, will be coming for cleanup and debris removal. They will be bringing chain saws and other similar hand tools. Please see Cindy or Scott Andreozzi to let them know your tornado damage needs and to give them permission to go on your property. Please try to have you or someone representing you there while they work to make sure nothing gets accidently thrown away. Have the crews make piles by the road. The county trucks will be coming to take care of the piles.

Eddie Somers will be meeting with Somerset County Officials sometime tomorrow morning, 8/8/22, regarding cleanup, and other tornado damage related items.

PLEASE IF ANYONE WANTS TO DONATE SUPPLIES, CONTACT JANET TYLER, EMS CAPTAIN, AT 443 235 3992 BEFORE SENDING ANYTHING SO THAT WE ONLY GET WHAT WE NEED.

Anyone who wants to make monetary donations there are a couple of ways to do that-

1.Jay Flemings Smith Island Tornado Damage Recovery and Cleanup at:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/smith-island-tornado-damage?fbclid=IwAR1HjOoldhKfjzA-KKaQqNwxERuNu7id1
giYNwSZXj8OWar_C2PrxWGNHGI

2. Smith Island United Website and follow instructions at the top of this page, or click:
smithislandunited.com/donate.htm

3. By mail:  Smith Island United    PO Box40    Ewell, MD 21824

 

- News Videos from WBOC TV  1.-  Possible Tornado Touches Down on Smith Island: Homes Damaged | Latest News | wboc.com
   2. https://www.wboc.com/news/smith-island-begins-clean-up-after-rare-tornado-damages-homes/video_ec0e147a-540e-54e8-ab6c-79e024e3e67e.html



August 6, 2022
Tornado - Rhodes Point - 8/4/2022

As far as we can tell if you have property and have not been contacted then you did not have damage. The major cleanups are on hold waiting for insurance adjusters to get here. We have plenty of water and food. Thanks to the Fire Dept response and as usual they did and are doing a fantastic job! A very special thank you to the response from A&N Electrical. Their crews started arriving the evening of the storm with crews working thru the night to get power on where they could (by the next morning they had power restored to everywhere except below the bridge on Rhodes Pt and a couple of homes on Ewell) and keeping us safe. By early afternoon they had trucks and poles on the Island. Power will most likely be restored to all by this afternoon. Thanks to Jay Fleming for setting up the go fund me page and to all who have donated.


August 5, 2022
Tornado - Rhodes Point - 8/4/2022
Thanks to all that are offering help for the Island. To state and federal people and agencies that need to contact someone to offer assistance please call Eddie Evans, Fire Chief, at 410 251 1635. The Fire Dept is leading this. When things get more settled the fire dept will get a list of damaged property so those of you that are part timers will be able to see if you have damage. We do not know how long this will take but will post it as soon as we get it.
- News Video from WBOC TV -  Possible Tornado Touches Down on Smith Island: Homes Damaged | Latest News | wboc.com


July 22,2022
The Legacy of a Vanished Island Landscape: The Story of Sharps Island, Maryland

Presented by Darrin L. Lowery, Ph.D.  2021  View Presentation Slides (PDF)
Note:
On pages 54-57 he uses a site on Smith Island to show how the past projections of sea levels rising is wrong

July 22, 2022
Salt Pond Sea Level Data Presentation by Darrin Lowery

Presented October 3, 2019  View Presentation Slides (PDF)

July 7, 2022
Smith Island Home Improvement Grant

Smith Island United has been awarded a home improvement grant through USDA. This is a low-income grant. The income limits are listed in the grant application along with types of projects. If you have any questions regarding the grant or application, contact Valerie Mann at
vjmann@comcast.net or by phone at 410-726-8303. Please submit the completed application to Valerie Mann at vjmann@comcast.net
The application can be downloaded here:

     Application – PDF version   or   Application – MS Word Document version

For information about contractors that are willing and approved to do the work under this grant, contact Kim Hopkins at the Eastern Shore Long Term Recovery Committee at 340-643-7516 or khopkins@easternshorerecovery.org.

June 2022
Smith Island  Waterman's Glass Float Hunt
We have a fun activity planned for this summer on Smith Island. Fisherman Float Hunt.
Click here for all the details

September 22, 2021
Message from SIU President, Eddie Somers:
We have been told we should start letting the general public know what we all have accomplished and some of the things that have been done since we first organized back in, I think, 2012. Our 501C status came a couple of years later. Here is a list of projects that have been funded since then. We thank Somerset County for the support, the many State of Maryland agencies that have funded projects, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Beach to Bay Heritage Area, Chesapeake Bay Trust, The Coastal Association of REALTORS®, and the many federal agencies, especially the federal people at the Martin National Wildlife Refuge and Army Corps for what seems to have started the ball rolling. The list below is some of the major projects that have benefited Smith Island.

     Rhodes Pt. Shoreline Stabilization - $4,496,400
     Rhodes Pt. County Dock - $559,949
     Rhodes Pt. Jetty - $250,000

     Drainage Study - $50,000
     SI Vision Plan - $89,241 
     Martin Wildlife Shoreline $8,400,000
     Sewer Plant- $9,200,000
     Thorofare Dredging
     Tylerton Boat Ramp
     Ewell County Dock repairs
     Façade Improvement Grants- $25,000
     Forever Maryland Cleanup Grants- $9,500 (we just received the second grant from here for $4,500)
     Drainage Study Implementation- $300,000
     Smith Island Park Improvements - $5,000
     Smith Island Overview Deck- $100,000 (permit process)
     Two Captains License Courses- $12,000

These below were not funded thru SIU but were a direct result of being influenced by the Smith Island Vision Plan
     Restoration of 111 ft of Rukes dock at Ewell
     Restoration of NW Basin slips at Ewell

     USDA Rural Housing Preservation Grant $50,000