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A Firsthand Look At Irene As Vermont Faces New Flash Flood Watch (VIDEO)

A Firsthand Look At Irene As Vermont Faces New Flash Flood Watch (VIDEO)
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Just over a week after Tropical Storm Irene unfurled her fury on parts of Vermont, flooding towns up and down this long spit of a state and taking out roads and historic covered bridges, the battered region is under a flash flood watch today and tomorrow as heavy rains move through the area.

My 84-year-old mother lives in Wilmington, a small town that was destroyed by the floodwaters. Wilmington sits just over the Massachusetts border, nestled between Bennington and Brattleboro, the gateway to route 100 and ski country. Mount Snow is about a 15 minute drive up the now cratered road.

Even a week later, my mother still can’t travel the length of route 9, the state’s east-west artery, and the road that links Wilmington to Bennington’s and Brattleboro’s services. My mother had to cancel a doctor’s appointment at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital the other day; the route to get there now so circuitous, her usual 30 minute drive would have have taken a good hour and a half — and that barring any unforeseen stoppages.

Trucks have been unable to traverse route 9 to deliver food to the local supermarket, but a couple finally made it up another way from Massachusetts for the first time Thursday, and the repair crews hard at work fixing the roads and bridges now travel hours out of their way hauling materials back and forth in an attempt to make the roads passable again.

Luckily my mom, and her home — an 180-year-old farmhouse on a rural road, up a hill — weathered the storm just fine — no damage to either of them. And her pantry is well stocked. But that doesn’t mean she’s not impacted. All Vermonters are impacted in some way as she says.

“For me, itís the psychological impact. I am personally, not physically affected. Itís the sadness to see this. The incredulity of nature doing its work,” she told me.

Self-sustaining lot that Vermonters are, they’re banding together, town by town, exchanging information, readily volunteering to help those in need, and living up to their strong, stubborn reputation as survivors who refuse to let their feathers get ruffled — even in the worst of storms.

I asked my mom what it’s like to be there now, and what it was like a week ago Sunday when Irene hit with a vengeance.

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11:15AM PDT on Sep 14, 2011

MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES FOR THE PEOPLE OF VERMONT. THE DEVASTATION WAS UNIMAGINABLE====NOW IS TIME TO REBUILD== MAKE SURE OUR GOVERNMENT GIVES THEM ADEQUATE CATASTROPHE ALLOWANCE===OR CALL ===BERNIE SANDERS

11:11AM PDT on Sep 14, 2011

MY HEART FELT CONDOLENCES FOR VERMONT .THE DEVASTATION IS UNIMAGINABLE AND THE MONEY TO REBUILD?

10:38PM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

Thanks for the article.

6:56PM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

Parts of New York suffered similar damage. Thankfully my family and I are fine as is our home, however if we lived but a few short miles further North or West the outcome would most likely have been different.

6:51PM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

thank you for sharing your Mom's personal experiences... Love Vermont and Vermonters and hope that recovery is easier than thought.

6:07PM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

Nothing I like to see for sure, but did get a look at my aunts and uncles houses on you tube as a guy swam down the street in Howard Beach, NY in a you tube video!

5:42PM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

interesting article.

5:31PM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have suffered.

5:23PM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

Goodness - what devastation! Hope their recovery and restoration is swift.

5:16PM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

thanks

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