September 1st, 2011
As I nestled into my favorite chair on Sunday morning, watching a light drizzle coat Middlebury’s blacktop streets, I tried to envision the potentially daunting events that Irene and her windy temperament might serve up that day.
Although I never imagined what damage this storm would reap, I couldn’t help but gawk at the tornado of consumer culture launched by dramatic weather reports and mainstream media frenzy.
VERMONT — Even before the rain ended late Sunday night, Gov. Peter Shumlin declared the flooding likely the worst since November of 1927, when torrential rains caused flooding, destruction and deaths across the state.
VERGENNES — Vergennes police filed three charges against a city man for allegedly breaking into his mother’s home on Aug. 22, assaulting her and stealing a pain patch off her body.
Police arrested Rory Thompson, 29, three days later after finding him at an East Street residence and lodged him at the Marble Valley Correctional Center. He was charged with domestic assault, burglary for entering his mother’s home with intent to steal in violation of a no-trespass order, and larceny.
“Don’t look now, Pete. Dr. J.”
Sure enough, there he was, Julius Erving, not 10 feet from us, chatting amiably with friends, dignified, impeccable, with his closely shorn grey hair now turning white, no evidence of the flamboyant trademark Afro of his playing days.
This was a big deal. Dr. J!
Vermont’s 2012 presidential primary will be held in six months, on Town Meeting Day, March 6. Compared with 2008, next year’s Vermont presidential primary is likely to be a low-key affair. In 2008, the combination of open presidential nominating contests in both parties, and the presence of three candidates who were well-organized and had extensive support in Vermont — John McCain on the Republican side and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side — resulted in a primary with high public attention and a record turnout.
BRANDON — The heart of Brandon was devastated by a disastrous flood Sunday as rains from Tropical Storm Irene caused the Neshobe River to overflow and rage through the downtown.
Hundreds of roads and dozens of bridges around Vermont were washed out during the storm, which brought seven or more inches of rain to the state in a day’s time. The event is the worst natural disaster to hit the Green Mountain State since the flood of 1927.
ADDISON COUNTY — State officials investigating a Route 7 crash involving two tractor-trailers last week said both semis and both drivers involved were violating laws. Vermont State Police and inspectors from the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit noted 13 driver violations and 9 equipment violations related to the condition of the trucks at the time of the crash.
ADDISON COUNTY — The floodwaters that covered fields in the wake of the rain and wind from Tropical Storm Irene on Sunday were strangely reminiscent of the high waters that covered fields this spring, pushing seasonal planting back by a month for some.
And Irene, which was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm as it headed north, decimated agricultural fields in some areas of Vermont and, for many others, threw hopes of a late fall growing season into question.