The above scenes plaster hurricane-related national and Vermont websites, newspapers and FaceBook pages today. Hurricane Irene brought on the worst flooding Vermont has seen in more than a century.
At this point, wet basements are the least of our worries. Hurricane Irene closed schools and knocked out power for thousands of Vermonters. It damaged and in some cases destroyed homes, businesses, farms, bridges and roads. Even the emergency operations headquarters was forced by the flooding to relocate from Waterbury to Burlington.
Natural disasters can bring out the best in Vermonters. There are many, many cases in which brave Vermonters came to the rescue of their neighbors and communities. Stories include those you might expect about shared meals, generators, and potable water. They also include unexpected and unusual rescues.
Unlike the New York Bay kayakers who had to be rescued during the storm, the Vermont kayakers highlighted in an email forwarded to me were the rescuers at Jericho Settler’s Farm.
This is the stuff upon which local legends are built. Individuals and organizations are making herculean efforts to restore some sense of normalcy to Vermont homes and businesses.
According to the Burlington Free Press, 3 FEMA trucks (Federal Emergency Management Agency) filled with emergency supplies such as food and blankets, arrived last night at Camp Johnson in Colchester. And according to Vermont Emergency Management 27 more arrived at the National Guard Base at 8:00 this morning.
Those who were not effected by the storm are encouraged to support the relief effort in any way they can. The following YouTube video put together by the Red Cross makes a poignant plea. The melancholy solo cello music accompanying the images is certainly a bit over the top, but so was the water in so much of our small state:
For continuous updates on road closures and relief supplies, consult the Vermont Emergency Management website.
image credits: FaceBook, Jericho Settler’s Farm