Community rallies to clean up storm-ravaged Hermon Cemetery

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:36 PM EDT
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TOWN OF HERMON, New York (WWNY) - The usually peaceful Hermon Cemetery in St. Lawrence County was filled with the sounds of chainsaws and machinery Friday as the community picked up the pieces left from Thursday’s storm.

“We’ve got a couple of trucks with trailers hauling away the bigger wood,” said Robert Reed, Hermon Cemetery superintendent.

The storm knocked down 15 trees over 12 acres of land Thursday.

Cemetery groundskeepers and community members volunteered their time and equipment to clean up.

“There’s a lot of people without power still and they could be home doing stuff at their own place, but they’re here helping us out,” said Reed.

It’s the most damage Reed has seen in his eight years in the role of cemetery superintendent.

“We’ve had an occasional tree limb or something come down, a wind storm, a half an hour or hour of work, cleaned up and like new again,” he said.

One of the trees at the cemetery fell and took the fence along with it.

“It’s gonna be a lot of work for the next few weeks getting things cleaned up,” said Reed.

Reed says he hasn’t come across any headstones with significant damage; just a few that were knocked over.

“We just get them upright again, stood up. Back in position. This cemetery has been going since the late 1800s, and this is one of the older sections we’re in right now,” he said.

Reed says a bulk of the cleanup will happen over the next two days with hopes it will look good as new in just a few short weeks.

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