September 8th, 2011
For the moment, Gov. Peter Shumlin is chief consoler for those most directly affected by Tropical Storm Irene’s flooding, cheerleader to boost the state’s important tourism economy, and primary care doctor — treating as many ailments as possible as he goes town-to-town.
In each of these meetings he reassures community members that the state and federal governments are working as quickly as they can to get things back to normal, and then he offers a few words of hope and inspiration.
The Burlington City Council, which as one member notes “normally can’t decide on which side the sun will rise,” has unanimously decided to make it official: People from Quebec are welcome in Vermont.
It hardly seems that the Quebecois need encouragement, judging by the number of Quebec plates in the parking garage of the Burlington airport.
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I, like pretty much everyone else, have been hearing of all the damage inflicted by the recent visit of Tropical Storm Irene. Eager to get back up to the mountains, but unsure of the current condition of the roads, I drove up Rt 125 on Saturday to take a look at my favorite trailheads.
HANCOCK/GRANVILLE — “Look, headlights,” shouted someone in the crowd gathered at the Hancock Town Hall late Wednesday afternoon.
Every one of the 70-some town residents at the impromptu town meeting turned to look, craning their necks and inching out of their seats to catch a view of the bright orange Central Vermont Public Service truck rolling through town.
VERGENNES — The new Vergennes Union High School cross-country coach calls himself a lifelong runner — and credits the sport with helping point his life in the right direction.
Eric Carter, who takes over from Jeff Kauffman, is a 51-year-old Panton resident who logs up to six miles a day in his running shoes and has coached the VUHS middle school team and helped out the Commodore track program.
In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, the silver lining can be found in the hundreds of stories of neighbors helping neighbors, communities pulling together and finding new strength in those connections, and of the generous offers of help from all corners of the state and region.
Check the disaster aid hotlines and you’ll find some amazing accounts. Here’s one set of exchanges found on Vtresponse.com concerning a Aug. 30 plea for medical aid, baby formula and other supplies:
BRISTOL — Selectboard chairman Joel Bouvier late last week indicated that progress was being made in Bristol after Tropical Storm Irene tore up chunks of the town, but he noted that it came with a big price tag.
“Our biggest loss was Lincoln Road, the main road to Lincoln,” Bouvier said on Thursday. “We lost about 200 feet and that’s probably going to be in excess of $75,000 (to repair). Town-wide we had about $75,000 to $100,000 worth of damage.”
LINCOLN — When heavy floodwaters came tearing through the mountain village of Lincoln on Sunday, Aug. 28, a group of 20 community members rescued their local elementary school’s garden — one of Lincoln Community School’s central pillars.
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