After the Tropic Storm devastated the village I live in (specifically South Newfane, but calling ourselves a “village” is a bit of a stretch. The small area of three villages — South Newfane, Williamsville, and Brookside — were really clobbered by the storm. The rivers filled to overflowing to the point that trickling brooks became roaring torrents with tens to hundreds of full-grown pines, firs, spruces, and maples came roaring down them. One house was washed from one side of the road to the other, completely destroying it. In another place, not only the house but the land under it was taken by the river, leaving nothing but rocks and sand. A man two houses downriver from me lost a couple acres of wooded land as the river veered right where it used to go straight. Two bridges were completely destroyed and a third had one end six feet lower than it was before the floods.
Other towns got hit even worse, I’m told. Some towns were underwater and others were completely isolated from the rest of the world as the only access roads and bridges were destroyed.
The process of responding to all this was an intense community effort. I’ve just added the online version of the an article I wrote for the Commons, a weekly free newspaper published in Brattleboro. You’ll find it under the title “A Vermont community struggles to recover from Tropical Storm Irene” in the Community section of the blook.