Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vermont on my mind...

When I think about Vermont a few things instantly come to mind....

BEN & JERRY's Ice Cream

Beautiful lakefront sunsets watched from the porch

Landscape dotted with covered bridges (and mountaintop backgrounds)

Great races and training

I'm sure many other things come to mind such as skiing, hiking and General Store's. I'm sure that most people throughout the country were affected by Hurricane / Tropical Storm Irene in some way (either directly or through friends and relatives). At our house, we were somewhat lucky and spared of any major damage (although we were without power for about 12 hours and no cable/phone/internet for a couple of days). Most of the talk about Irene centered around the shorelines and major metro cities, but the tiny, landlocked state of Vermont was absolutely crushed by Irene. I've been glued to the web, just searching for updates, videos and photos of the towns, roads and people that I'm a part of every summer. My mind cannot comprehend the extent of this catastrophe. The photo below is a map published by VT officials showing all of the impacted (closed or single lane) roadways. Take a look, you simply "can't get there from here" anymore.

Eleven towns were completely isoluted by washed out roadways and bridges. A base lodge at Killington was dislodged from its foundation. There are 400 people "stuck" in the resort. In the town of Bethel, there are homes that lost the bottom two stories....simply swept away. The Silver Lake shown above breached it's outfall and washed the North Road out. Quechee covered bridge (and the Simon Pearce glassworks) is hanging on by a thread at this point.

Quechee Bridge & Simon Pearce Building

In one town that was stranded by closed roadways and power outages, there are photos of people standing in line at the one and only grocery store. The store decided to give all of it's food away because it was going to spoil without electricity anyway.

My sister in law and her family were supposed to spend the week after Labor Day up there and bring my son. They've decided to cancel the trip because they simply couldn't get there. Route 107 from Killington to Bethel is completely washed out as Route 4 from Killington to Woodstock.

Route 4 East of Killington

My heart truly goes out to all of the Vermonters. They're a tough bunch and if any state in the union could get through it, it's Vermont. Thankfully FEMA, the Federal Government and the Reserve Forces have recognized the extent of this distaster and are working feverishly to help out.

Hard to believe that just one week before, all of the talk in the multisport world centered around an incredible Age Group National Championship event which was held in Burlington, VT.


  1. Vermont is on my mind too. I'm working on writing a story right now on Vermont Mennonites affected by the storm. The Mennonite camp in Plymouth, VT, has reported no significant damage. We haven't heard from anyone from the two Mennonite congregations up there though. Plymouth is one of the areas receiving National Guard emergency aid. I too have been perusing photos, videos and stories from Vermonters. The power of wind and water is incredible. You should watch this video:

  2. Wow, it seems surprising that Vermont was hit so bad by the hurricane.

  3. Thank you for summarizing exactly what I am feeling.

  4. I hope they make some major progress before winter, otherwise people will be in extra rough shape. Scary stuff.