image

 
     

      News and Updates





Update May 22, 2024
The Smith Island Fishing Tournament is this weekend here are a couple of links https://www.facebook.com/smithislandfishingtournament/  https://ianglertournament.com/2023-smith-island-fishing-tournament
Also don't forget to hunt for the orbs starting this weekend through Labor Day https://www.facebook.com/SmithIslandUnited Happy Hunting
Eddie

Update May 15, 2024
Bill Gene Swift will be coming over in a few weeks to take down a couple of trees. If anyone else is interested contact Mark Nelson at 336 8480450.
Eddie

Update May 4, 2024
Here are two links to USDA stories about the new waste water treatment plant for Smith Island
1.  Success Story - Investing in Wastewater Infrastructure is Key to Preserving Smith Island Maryland 4-16.pdf
2. 
https://youtu.be/ENOKSw44jWM                            

Update April 24, 2024
The 2024 Smith Island Waterman's Float Hunt is on !  Click here for full information.

Update April 4, 2024
2024 Smith Island United Facade Application - Click here to view and download the Application

Update March 20, 2024
Business Boost Grants are Available for Eligible Small Businesses
ALL BUSINESSES:   IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THIS GRANT CONTACT VALERIE MANN AT vjmann@comcast.net. THIS IS NOT THRU SMITH ISLAND UNITED. YOU WOULD BE HIRING VALERIE THRU YOUR BUSINESS.

Business Boost has reopened its application portal to accept additional applications through Friday, March 29, 2024, at 5 p.m. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) through the Neighborhood BusinessWorks (NBW) program, is offering up to $2,000,000 of Business Boost microgrants ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 to support small businesses who need capital for growth and/or expansion opportunities.

The Business Boost microgrant assists businesses seeking to expand their business, or establish a location, with a preference to supporting home-based businesses in establishing their first commercial location outside of the home. Business Boost funding will fund businesses that meet one or more of the priority impact attributes that lead to growing the economy throughout the state. A few of the priority impact attributes are:

Businesses within a Sustainable Communities area.

Innovative small businesses that drive innovation or technology advancements.

Businesses that are growing new industries.

Businesses focused on regional strengths to grow local economies.

Businesses that leverage partnerships between local school districts, community colleges, and other higher education institutions in Maryland.

Minority Business Enterprise (MBE).

Apply online today at https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Business/Pages/Microgrant.aspx.

Microgrant
dhcd.maryland.gov
Microgrant


Update November 29, 2023 - Giving Tuesday
Thanks to our very generous donors on Giving Tuesday. We had a total of $3,339 donated. These donations are a large part of how we pay for grants, for example our new roads, and other improvements to the Island. Thanks also to Michelle Thompson and Shanon Abbott for leading the Giving Tuesday effort. This was one of our best years since we started participating. Thanks, Eddie Somers, President

Update November 19, 2023

Tuesday, November 28th is National Giving Day, or Giving Tuesday. Smith Island United is again participating in the Giving Days through The Shore Gives More (https://www.shoregivesmore.org/). Our goal is to raise $5,000 in support of our vision plan, which focuses on how Smith Island will look, feel, and thrive in the coming decades.

 Smith Island United is truly an all-volunteer group, with no payroll or compensation. We rely on charitable contributions and appreciate your support. Thank you for helping us to ensure the future of Smith Island. Any donation level is appreciated and will be put to good use. We've added some levels for you to consider, which will support Smith Island United and local businesses. Donation amount:

  • $100.00 - $249.99 - Mrs. Kitching's Smith Island Cookbook from Smith Island Cultural Center & Museum

  • $250.00 - $499.99 - "Sweet on Smith Island" - Smith Island "Original" Cake from Smith Island Bakery located in Ewell, MD on Smith Island. Shipped to address within the contiguous United States.

  • $500.00 - $999.99 - "Taste of Smith Island" - Smith Island "Original" Cake from Smith Island Bakery located in Ewell, MD on Smith Island AND two (2) Crabcakes from Drum Point Market located in Tylerton, MD on Smith Island. Shipped to address within the contiguous United States.

  • >$1,000.00 - "Smith Island United Ultimate Package" - Smith Island "Original" Cake from Smith Island Bakery located in Ewell, MD on Smith Island AND four (4) Crabcakes from Drum Point Market located in Tylerton, MD on Smith Island AND Mrs. Kitching's Smith Island Cookbook from Smith Island Cultural Center & Museum. Shipped to address within the contiguous United States.

To donate, please go to http://www.shoregivesmore.org/smithislandunited

 We appreciate your support of Smith Island!

Thank You,
Eddie Somers
President, Smith Island United
www.smithislandunited.com


Update October 31, 2023
Giving Tuesday is on November 28th this year https://www.shoregivesmore.org/ . As most of you know we are all volunteer. We travel at our own expense. We hope you will remember us this year. Giving Tuesday is a major source of funds that help with grant writing, trips to the Island to highlight needs, and show our progress. Our profile is here https://www.shoregivesmore.org/smithislandunited


Update October 7, 2023
Minutes from the Smith Island United Membership Meeting held on October 2, 2023.   ( pdf Version )  ( MS Word Version )

Update October 6, 2023
On Thursday, Oct. 5, Secretary Jake Day Md. Dept. of Housing & Community Development, Secretary Rebecca Flora of Md. Dept. of Planning along with some of their staff, Senator Mary Beth Carroza, several officials from United States Dept. of Agriculture and their staff, Somerset County Commissioners Randy Laird & Darryl Webster, and staff to look at current and future projects. Some of the current issues discussed were the drainage issue and trash, weekend transportation, harbors at Ewell and Rhodes Pt., and broadband. We feel like it went very well and wish to thank John Sullivan USDA for helping to organize the visit and a special thanks to Secretaries Day and Flora and Senator Carroza for taking the time out of their busy schedules to visit the Island.

Update: October 2, 2023
Smith Island United October 2, 2023 Meeting Minutes 
Read


Update September 29, 2023

After thinking about the tides, we have decided to cancel tomorrow's meeting, September 30th. We will have the membership meeting at 2 pm on Monday, October 2nd before the branding meeting. Capt. Larry is not able to make the run to bring people from Tylerton so Capt. Terry in the Capt. Jason will be picking people up at around 1:10 and bringing you back to Tylerton after the branding meeting.  



Update September 27, 2023

Taylor's Pest Control
This is Justin, your friendly neighborhood bug killer, with Taylor’s Pest Control. I will be coming over October 20th -21st to perform residential pest control. This will include interior and exterior treatments. I will be starting in Tylerton and Rhodes Pt on the 20th and Ewell on the 21st. The cost will be $100 per house. If u have any questions please call or text 443 655 2571 or email me at justinsomers@gmail.com. If you are interested please let me know. Also let me know if you have any specific pest concerns.

 
Update September 23, 2023
Received this from Dept. of Energy
   The Department of Energy is taking a major step forward in improving the resiliency and reliability of our power grid by investing in long-duration energy storage (LDES), which is particularly important given the increasing frequency of extreme weather events. 
 
   The Rural Energy Viability for Integrated Vital Energy (REVIVE) project – with a site in Ewell, MD – is one of 9 projects selected for award negotiations to receive a piece of the $330 million in combined federal funding for emerging LDES projects capable of delivering electricity for 10 hours or longer. These investments give businesses the confidence they need to build and deploy innovative clean energy technologies that are critical to reaching our net-zero economy. 
   
The National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) and its project partners are working to provide vanadium flow batteries to five geographically diverse sites across the Midwest, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic. The batteries offer up to 20 hours of energy, delivering high benefit, low risk energy solutions to vulnerable and disadvantaged rural areas. The technology provider, Invinity Energy Systems, has already successfully installed its VFBs elsewhere in the world, including Australia and the UK.  You can read the full press release here.
   Eddie Somers
  
Smith Island United

 
Update: September 13, 2023

1.  Membership meeting:  Ewell Rec Center - September 30 at 2:30 PM  Agenda: Branding and Broadband
We will have a membership meeting in Ewell on September 30 at 2:30 PM in the Ewell Rec Center.  Capt. Larry on the Capt. Jason II will be bring people from Tylerton to the  meeting. Check with Capt. Larry for time.

Agenda- Branding, broadband
    Branding- Last summer (2022) the business people on the Island met with Md. Dept. of Commerce in Ewell to hear the pros and cons of branding the Smith Island name. The business group decided it would be a positive thing for the Island so Smith Island United, at the group's request, applied for a grant to fund the process. We received the grant. Residents and property owners are invited to attend and share your thoughts on Oct. 2 at the Ewell Rec Center at 2 PM. This will be followed at 3:30 PM by a roundtable discussion with business owners at the same venue. See below for more details.
    Broadband - Although we are very early into the broadband initiative, we cannot submit the application until 2024, we will talk about where we are and the process. Hope to see you all there,

Eddie Somers, President Smith Island United
2.  Smith Island Community Branding and Marketing Initiative - October 2nd and 3rd - Details:  PDF Document / MS Word Document


Update: June 21, 2023
USDA Low Income Housing Improvement Grant Deadline
The deadline for submitting applications with estimate for this grant is July 21, 2023. Both Russell Harrison (Dave Hood) and Mark Pendry are willing to give estimates. For an application or questions contact Valerie Mann at 410-726-8303 or vjmann@comcast.net
Housing Rehabilitation Grant Application, Smith Island United (SIU)
Click here to print the Application -pdf  (Word version)
Funded by a Housing Preservation Grant from the US Dept. of Agriculture


Update: April 24, 2023
Announcing the 2023 Smith Island Waterman's Glass Float Hunt.  Details

Update: April 13, 2023
Smith Island United Meeting Minutes 4-13-23  Read


Update: April 2, 2023
There will be a Smith Island United Membership Meeting in the Tylerton Church Basement on Saturday, May 13th at 3:00 pm.
Zoom Information for the Smith Island United Meeting Saturday - Details
Click here for the agenda


Update: Febuary 2, 2023
Feb 2, 2023 - Phone Conference Exec Committee  Read

Update: December 31, 2022
Smith Island Cake Marker
See the Press Release for a Historical Marker for the Smith Island Cake.
A sincere thank you to Lisa Challenger of the Beach to Bay Heritage Area and Steve Bodnar of the William G Pomeroy Foundation.
 
Eddie Somers
President


Update: December 8, 2022
Giving Tuesday - New Sewer Plant Funding

Giving Tuesday- Thanks to all who donated to Smith Island United thru the Giving Tuesday event we raised almost $1,500. This will help with our one major expense which is insurance. Again Thanks!

 New Sewer Plant Funding-

 BALTIMORE (Dec. 7,  2022) – The Maryland Board of Public Works in Annapolis approved more than $12 million in funding today to replace a deteriorating wastewater treatment plant on Smith Island with a facility featuring advanced technology. The board is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Dereck E. Davis and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

“Smith Island is an integral part of Maryland’s history, culture and Chesapeake Bay heritage,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Horacio Tablada. “The deteriorated condition of the existing wastewater system on Smith Island must be addressed to protect public health and the Chesapeake Bay. This project will be built following Coast Smart Program resiliency guidelines to reduce climate change risks.”

The following project was approved today:

Smith Island Clean Water Project – Somerset County

Grants and loans totaling $12,491,604 – a $1.6 million Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan, a $2 million grant in the form of loan forgiveness of a Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan and an $8,891,604 Bay Restoration Fund grant – to the Somerset County Sanitary District will help fund the planning, design and construction of a new Biological Nutrient Removal/Enhanced Nutrient Removal (BNR/ENR) wastewater treatment plant to replace the existing Ewell wastewater treatment plant, which is more than 40 years old and in a deteriorated condition. The multi-phase project also includes an upgrade of the wastewater collection and conveyance system, the decommissioning of the existing Tylerton wastewater treatment plant, an overhaul of three existing pumping stations, and the construction of a new sanitary force main for the conveyance of wastewater from Tylerton to the new Ewell plant. This action pertains to the construction of the replaced plant. The upgrade will lead to an 83 percent reduction in nitrogen discharged and a 90 percent reduction in phosphorus discharged to the Frances Gut and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lowered levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay restoration plan. This project will be constructed in accordance with coastal and non-coastal resiliency guidelines developed as part of the Coast Smart Program to reduce climate change risks to such projects.

Smith Island United

 


Update: November 24, 2022
Final Tornado Donation Fund Total and Distribution

As most of you are aware, this past August Smith Island homes and businesses suffered considerable damage from a tornado. Thru Jay Fleming’s GoFundMe page and directly to Smith Island United our organization received a total of $212,752.83 in donations. Out of this total we incurred $3,311.00 in expenses (mostly for cleanup expenses- food and transportation for volunteers). We had zero admin fees. We setup the Smith Island United Tornado Relief Committee consisting of 7 volunteers. This committee made the decisions to distribute $209,441.72 directly to the victims of the tornado. They did this in 4 phases in the following order- Uninsured, Deductibles, Lost Wages, and last Insured. These distributions went to 18 businesses, 19 households, and 2 organizations.

We want our donors to know that none of the tornado donations went into our operating funds. Our operating funds go towards making improvements to the Island’s three communities. A couple examples would be the $100,000 in home improvement grants and especially the new roads that are now under construction. Therefore we, again this year, need your support to continue our work. We do all of this with volunteers, NO PAID STAFF, NO VOLUNTEER TRAVEL EXPENSE, ETC., so please will you consider donating to Smith Island United this Giving Tuesday? You can follow this link to the Giving Tuesday donation for Smith Island United https://www.shoregivesmore.org/nonprofits?_rs=242555389&keyword=smith%20island%20united&category=null&random=1&page=1&type=nonprofits&viewType=paged  Thank you.
     Smith Island United Executive Committee
     www.smithislandunited.com

November 18, 2022
  USDA Housing Rehab Application - Revised 11/18/2022
 
Click here to read and save to your computer (pdf version). Print it, fill out the form, then mail the signed Application. Click here for MS Word version.

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

 

Update: November 8, 2022
Tornado Relief


Yesterday, November 7, the Smith Island United Tornado Relief Committee finalized the last round of disbursements. 100% of these funds have gone towards tornado relief with no administrative cost incurred. The work of a Committee in a process such as this in a small community is not an easy task because of the closeness of all involved. We have tried to do our best to help everyone that was affected by the tornado in a fair and honest way. Most importantly we want to thank all of the organizations, churches, and people who made this work possible by your very generous donations. A special thank you to Jay Fleming for starting the process with his gofundme page. Those that donated directly to Smith Island United have or will be getting a thank you note. GoFundMe does not release addresses so for those of you that donated thru Jay’s page please know that we are very grateful for your support. Without all of these generous donations our Island Community would have taken a very hard hit.

 
Update: October 15, 2022
Tornado Relief - Sewer Plant Update

TORNADO RELIEF
    The Committee for Tornado Relief issued the second round of checks to tornado victims this past week. The committee decided and voted unanimously to issue funds based on the applications submitted. This brings the approximate amount dispersed to date issue to the victims of the tornado at $100,005. We appreciate everyone's patience as we continue this process.

SEWER PLANT UPDATE

    Officials announced on Friday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a $1,611,000 grant for the Smith Island Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements Project.
    We’re told this grant funding will be used to provide an enhanced nutrient system for the entire island by replacing all the degraded equipment with updated, more efficient, and clean equipment. Funding for this project will also be used to eliminate unsanitary sewer discharges into the Tangier Sound and the Chesapeake Bay.
    The completion of this project will benefit both the environment and the population of Smith Island, as it will increase climate and coastal resiliency and increase the assurance of access to sanitary sewer services for island residents and businesses.

Congressman Andy Harris and Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen released the following statement:
    “This is a sizable investment in modernizing Smith Island’s wastewater infrastructure. Newer and more efficient sanitation equipment will protect the public health of the Island residents while keeping pollution out of the Chesapeake Bay. As the last remaining offshore inhabited island in Maryland, Smith Island has deep cultural roots on the Eastern Shore and this grant money will ensure that all residents and businesses have access to the clean water they deserve.”


Eddie Somers
President, Smith Island United www.smithislandunited

 

Update: September 29, 2022
Tornado Relief - Road Repairs

Tornado Relief- The Tornado Relief Committee has issued checks to the un-insured totaling approximately $40,000 which takes care of 40%-50% of the claims. The Committee is waiting on insurance settlement papers from the insured. Once we have those we will start issuing checks for copays. Hopefully we can take care of this within the next couple of weeks. 

Road Work- Received this from Somerset County Roads Director Woody Barnes-

Good Morning Eddie ,

As follow up to our conversation yesterday below is a brief recap of the of the course of events that led up to the Commissioners approval at Tuesday’s meeting.  

On September 6, 2022, at the regularly scheduled Somerset County Roads Board the bids for the Smith Island Roads project were opened and read aloud. At that time there were two qualifying bids, that were taken by the Roads Director (me) to be reviewed and consider for recommendation. During the review it was determined that both contractors had adequately addressed the proposed scope of work and both were more than qualified to complete the project. DSM Properties, LLC of Randallstown, MD was/is the low bidder, submitting a bid of $1,870,962.00, which was $620,962 over the FY2023 budgeted amount of $1,250,000 of which we had received a $1,000,000 from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA). Thanks to the vision and assistance from members of Smith Island United.  

Recognizing the $620,000 short fall a team consisting of the Roads Director, Parks/Recs & Tourism Director Mr. Clint Sterling and County Finance Director Mr Gene Adkins meet with representatives from the EDA  to discuss the possibility of obtaining additional grant funds, and while there is a chance that the county could receive additional funding through a formal request, there was no guarantee and this process was found to be very lengthy. Understanding the crucial timing constraints of the grant funds previously awarded (Expiring in May 2023) the county team of Mr. Sterling, Mr Adkins and myself  didn’t feel we could afford to wait for the EDA determination, and felt the best approach was to request additional funding from the County.   

Therefore; on Tuesday September 27, 2022 the Somerset County Commissioners held a special session Roads Board meeting where we made the recommendation to the Commissioners to consider funding the proposed shortfall and awarding the contract to DSM Properties, LLC, without deviation from the original scope work, as I feel that the proposed work addresses the current conditions of daily tide influences and deteriorating roads with emphasizes made for potential rising sea levels in the future. Based on this information and the recommendation of Commissioner Randy Laird , seconded by Commissioner Charles Laird the Somerset County Commissioners unanimously awarded the additional funds and contract to the apparent low bidder, without hesitation.  

We are excited to get work on this project, and have already begun to do so. Following Tuesday’s approval I met with the contractor and they have already begun work, submitting material products and specifications for our approval and working on a logistic plan (material/equipment mobilization)  that they plan to present at our Pre Construction Meeting to be held the week of October 10, 2022.  

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or thoughts.  

Regards
Woody Barnes

Eddie Somers
President, Smith Island United

smithislandunited@gmail.com
www.smithislandunited.com

 


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