Walk across a Vermont river this summer and you’re likely to
find footing on stones that were upstream a year ago. Tropical Storm Irene
threw them down river, along with trees and roots, chunks of asphalt, parts of
released new figures this week on the impact of Tropical Storm Irene on Vermont’s farms. They
now estimate the damage to land, crops and infrastructure at $20 million, and there’s
still concern about the difficulties farmers face dealing with the effects of
year after Tropical Storm Irene turned mountain communities into islands,
residents in one partially destroyed White River Valley community are pausing to reflect in the spirit of
renewal and resilience, sacrifice and sustainability.
Ever since the State Office Complex was wiped out by the Irene floods, the state work force of about 1,300 people has
dispersed across central and northwestern Vermont. Now, only 200 state
workers are in Waterbury every day, and the prospects of when others
return are far from certain.
the weeks after Irene hammered so many small towns across Vermont, Pittsfield
became an example of a community coming together. But
the recovery has been more difficult than the
immediate aftermath of the storm.
One year ago, when
Tropical Storm Irene hit, the destruction wrought along Vermont’s rivers was
tragic. But Lake Champlain Lakekeeper
Louis Porter of the Conservation Law Foundation says some extraordinary and
wonderful things happened as well – some of which have taken us some time to
Northfield, homeowners who are part of a FEMA buyout program have
learned it will be fall before they can expect to see any money for their
Irene-damaged homes. Residents are grateful that the end is in sight.
But for some, the months of waiting has exacted an emotional toll.
Greg Sharrow of the Vermont Folklife Center talks about organizing "story" circles over the last year, where people who were affected by Tropical Storm Irene talk in groups and record their experiences.