Goodnight Irene

A year ago, tropical storm Irene ravaged its way through the Green Mountains – an underestimated storm that came to us in horrid deluges. Gentle streams turned into raging torrents that carved through mountainsides, eroded entire stretch of highways and unleashed severe damage to unsuspecting communities.

When all was over, Vermonters found themselves in a situation most never thought possible. Weather is the norm here, and many people are used to it in a state surviving within the mountains and rivers of the north land. But Irene wasn’t an ordinary storm, and the aftermath was baffling.

Entire communities were isolated from one another and inaccessible. Buildings were flooded entirely, and left deluged underneath feet of river silt and mud. Businesses were destroyed and houses pushed off their foundations. Main Streets were waterways, below several feet of water, murky “ocean” type smells wafted pungently and heavily through the valleys. Vermonters stared in shock and surveyed the damage, as if they were emerging from a dark basement and squinting once the sun hit their eyes, trying to comprehend the strange reality that was now their home.

No one was sure what to do, but Vermonters being Vermonters, banded together, and helped our their neighbors in anyway they could. Soon, the information began to come in batched intervals. At least 250 miles of state roads were destroyed, as well as three dozen bridges, and countless miles of town roads had all been washed away or severely damaged. Rescue workers and state road crews were trapped, not being able to get to where they were needed. Four people were reported dead.

Today, tropical storm Irene seems like a memory to a lot of people, as most of our highways have been rebuilt and most communities are slowly coming back to life. But the sad truth is, the state is still suffering from the damages of Irene – and it’s a sore subject. Either you lived in an area that received minimal damage, or just the opposite, which stirred a bit of confusion (if not curiosity) for many Vermonters. You heard about the town next door getting nailed, but 6 miles down the road there was no damage to be seen.

But thankfully, life around here is almost back to normal (almost), but Irene’s scars will forever mar the landscape – a reminder to future generations that it can happen here.

Apart from the Browns River Bridge in Shrewsbury, these photos were taken on the stretch of Route 4 between Sherburne Pass in Killington and Woodstock Village. Unfortunately for everyone, I had a bit of a HDR obsession around 2011, yielding some embarrassing photos taken by yours truly, but these photos are also important, they document one of the greatest natural disasters in our state’s history, so for that reason alone, I’m not completely deleting them.

Browns River Bridge, Shrewsbury

Browns River Bridge, Shrewsbury

Browns River Bridge, Shrewsbury

Browns River Bridge, Shrewsbury

Route 4, Killington

Route 4, Killington

West Bridgewater

West Bridgewater

 

West Bridgewater

West Bridgewater

West Bridgewater

West Bridgewater

West Bridgewater

West Bridgewater

West Bridgewater

West Bridgewater

Route 4, Bridgewater

Route 4, Bridgewater

Route 4, Bridgewater

Route 4, Bridgewater

Route 4, Bridgewater

Route 4, Bridgewater

Route 4, Bridgewater

Route 4, Bridgewater

Route 4, Bridgewater

Route 4, Bridgewater

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To all of my amazing fans and supporters, I am truly grateful and humbled by all of the support and donations through out the years that have kept Obscure Vermont up and running.

As you all know I spend countless hours researching, writing, and traveling to produce and sustain this blog. Obscure Vermont is funded entirely on generous donations that you the wonderful viewers and supporters have made. Expenses range from internet fees to host the blog, to investing in research materials, to traveling expenses. Also, donations help keep me current with my photography gear, computer, and computer software so that I can deliver the best quality possible.

If you value, appreciate, and enjoy reading about my adventures please consider making a donation to my new Gofundme account or Paypal. Any donation would not only be greatly appreciated and help keep this blog going, it would also keep me doing what I love. Thank you!

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2 Comments on “Goodnight Irene

  1. Truly amazing photos…..really captured the devastation Vermonters felt from Irene’s wrath. Especially in the sunlight after the storms….. Well done.

  2. Being a Vermont native now Floridian, I’m hoping Hurricane Sandy doesnt do the damage they’re predicting for New England. Just got back from Burlington & Charlotte last week, simply gorgeous weather ❤

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