ROCHESTER — Two dozen sets of human remains washed out of the ground by the remnants of Hurricane Irene sit at the edge of Rochester’s Woodlawn Cemetery, awaiting the work that will return them to the earth.
In locked concrete vaults impervious to the elements, the remains have been at the base of a wooded hill since they were collected from the open air after Irene hit Aug. 28, 2011, and turned the tiny Nason Brook into a raging river, digging into the bank at the back of the cemetery and washing out 50 graves.
More than two dozen sets of remains are still missing, washed downstream into the White River.
Sue Flewelling, of the Rochester Cemetery, is determined to see remains reinterred as close as possible to where they were first buried. The town is waiting on bids from contractors who will finish closing the gaping hole left by Irene, making it possible for the vaults to be reburied.
“If we’re lucky, we can get the ones that we have reinterred by the end of October,” Flewelling said.
She still doesn’t know how much it will cost to repair the cemetery. The town is expected to award a contract for the repairs within the next few days. Work is supposed to be done by Oct. 1.
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