Tue, May 1, 2012 08:56 AM
In our last week's Hurricane Irene edition we were perhaps
premature in stating in our headline that "Killington was Vermont's
Most Storm Damaged Community." Indeed we took a bad hit, but
there's enormous progress at repair and reconstruction. The major
distraction is highway access, and not lack of effort, cooperation
or enthusiasm to get things done.
Killington Resort and The Town of Killington is mostly in
business or ready to do business right now... you just have to get
there. Limited access is open from the Woodstock side, but
Route 4 in from Mendon is still a problem, and will remain so for
an undetermined time, but it should be well taken care of prior to
the winter season, and hopefully before foliage time.
Volunteer workers in Killington include those in the
Regional Command Center and the food and supply "Comfort Station"
at the Killington Elementary School, and dozens of self organized
help groups. This station is manned by the staff and teachers of
the school, many of whom walk in from Rutland on the Helvi Hill to
Journey's End pathway then are shuttled to work. When I visited
them on Friday they were at work distributing supplies as well as
providing recreational activities for area school
This sort of activity is occurring everywhere in the
region, and is a credit to the durability, generosity and backbone
of Vermonters. We won't be beaten.
Photo by Royal Barnard
Looking around Killington:
Photo by Chris
Pittsfield - There was serious damage to Route 100 North
from Killington. The roadway in the area of the "S" curves suffered
serious washouts. Lindsey Rodgers, a Mountain Times co-worker was
stranded in this area until rescued by Killington Contractor, Ken
Hurley. The covered bridge to Riverside Farm south of Pittsfield is
gone. At least one house in the village near the river was moved
off its foundation. Pittsfield was without power and telephone
somewhat longer than other communities because of impossible access
to utility workers. Once in, service was quickly
photo by Sasha Parise
Stockbridge - Route 107 from Pittsfield to Bethel is
reported to be totally impassable. The White River along
"Refrigerator Flats" and just south of Tozier's Restaurant is
reported to have completely taken out any evidence of roadway. It
should be assumed that utility lines were also destroyed.
Rochester - Another Mountain Times co-worker, Erica
Harrington, and her family were stranded by a bridge washout to
their home on Route 73 towards Brandon Gap. This was our first
contact in Rochester until she lost power and cell service. CVPS
spokesman, Steve Costello, has kept us up to date on progress at
getting into Rochester, and this was clearly one of the hardest hit
areas. Once in repairs were made to an important sub-station and
power mostly restored. The major problem for utility crews was
simply getting to the effected areas. Steve told me that more than
one of his experienced line-crew members held back tears while
experiencing the difficult plight of numerous customers in the
Rochester area, and also while working Route 100S from Killington
into Plymouth. The following photos and account comes to us from
Rochester Resident John Allen, and is printed with his
"Greetings All. Just a quick note and a few pictures from
one small town in Post-Irene Vermont. While we are just now
able to leave the village, many roads and bridges around us are
damaged or just gone completely.
The original prediction for the restoration of power was
6-8 weeks, they got us back on last night after only 5 days.
I am sending this group email because Meg and I want to thank the
incredible efforts of power, road and emergency crews from all over
the country and Canada. We had line crews from almost ever
Midwestern State (even Kansas sent "The Wichita
If you know of anyone in your area that responded to this
small New England State, please pass along our heartfelt
thanks. I only wish Vermont could repay this tremendous debt
by somehow sending it's excess water to the fires currently burning
in the southwest. More flash flooding is predicted for us
To my Fellow Vermonters, Meg and I hope you are all safe
and recovering from Irene as well. Our thoughts are with
This is a house just down the
road from Meg and myself. This is normally just a creek that
flows by at about 1100 ft elevation. Hard to see, but about
20 ft of it is totally hanging in mid-air.
This is a house in town that also
sits next to a small stream. This house belongs to the woman
who served as Chairperson during one of my 6 years on the school
(For you tennis friends of mine),
is what is left of the courts that just barely got re-surfaced and
Take care Everyone.
Route 100S to Plymouth and Ludlow - This is another very
hard hit area. The river along Route 100S near the Village of
Plymouth Union is reported severely damaged. CVPS reports that
power lines were destroyed for a significant distance, with poles
dangling in mid air. By the time you read this report power
will have been substantially restored. We have no inside contact in
Plymouth and can't provide first hand knowledge, but suffice it to
say there have been problems.
photo by Gary Haffke of 100
Rutland - Serious flooding occurred in the Baxter Street
and Cleveland Avenue sections of the City. At one point there
was concern that Patch's Dam on the East Creek might rupture. The
dam did not rupture, and I've been told there may be a story of
heroism behind why it didn't. More here if we can find out. The
"new Route 7 South suffered the loss of the four lane bridge that
crosses the Cold River in North Clarendon. Initially, one lane and
part of the second gave in, then later the last section broke,
stranding two construction workers who were later rescued. The
Otter Creek in the lowlands from Wallingford north swelled it's
banks causing flooding along the way. The roadway in Center Rutland
was temporarily closed.
photo by Thomas Bartlett of
photo by Thomas Bartlett of
Ira, Tinmouth and Wallingford - At press time we have no
first hand reports or photos from this area.
PLEASE keep in mind that this reporting is based on
reports from persons we believe to be "trusted sources," but given
the circumstances it should not be relied upon as more than "well
informed hearsay." We do publish up to the minute "official"
releases as received from CVPS, the Killington Region Command
Center, The BUS, and town and local officials. Please make all
decisions on this and no other reports.
During the last week I have heard hundreds of stories,
visited dozens of locations in effected areas, and fought my own
battle to continue publishing a real time website and a weekly
newspaper. NOWHERE is anybody complaining. NOWHERE did I see
anybody giving up. EVERYWHERE people are helping each other and
sharing resources. EVERYWHERE people are communicative, friendly
and helpful. Former enemies have become friends while digging in
the same ditch up to their knees in mud. This experience is
painful, but it's not all bad.