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.
MIDDLEBURY — The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles will have an expanded presence in the Addison County Courthouse as a result of flood damage from Tropical Storm Irene.
The Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services early last week authorized the temporary relocation of Rutland County DMV offices to the Middlebury courthouse. That became necessary after Irene-related flooding heavily damaged DMV offices in adjacent Rutland County.
ROCHESTER — Residents of Rochester, one of 13 communities isolated for five days by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene, were well under way with clean-up efforts late Thursday afternoon as Route 125 over Middlebury Gap to Route 100 was opened for emergency vehicles and vital traffic late Wednesday.
WEYBRIDGE — Weybridge residents on Tuesday, Sept. 6, will be asked for their feedback on town plan revisions that have been a decade in the making.
The revised plan includes new maps, updated facts and figures charting the growth of the community, an entirely new energy section, and a variety of suggestions aimed at helping Weybridge plot a smooth development course for at least the next five years.
MIDDLEBURY — Mary Hogan Elementary School fifth-graders hatched them, Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center agribusiness students raised them and Middlebury College students will eat them.
Without leaving the town of Middlebury, the 203 chickens of the Chick-to-Plate project have been teachers to more than 200 students — by career center Director Lynn Coale’s count — and now, will be dinner to hundreds more.
Local businesses began to take flood prevention measures on Thursday when the Otter Creek began to crest. As he watched the water rise, Chris English, co-owner of Middlebury restaurant Jackson's on the River, called the town offices for advice.
Not long after, the Middlebury College football team arrived to lend a helping hand. The team build a blockade of sandbags to keep out the river's rushing waters, then moved on to help out in other parts of town where residents were worried about flooding from Otter Creek.