To mark the one-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene,
Vermont Public Television screened "Flood Bound," a film by
independent filmmaker and Pittsfield, Vt., resident Marion Abrams
Thursday, August 16, at 8 p.m. and Monday, August 20 at 7
p.m. it will air again, one last time, on Aug 25 at 4 p.m.
Cut off from the outside world when Irene struck, destroying
homes and cutting off the roads to the north and south, neighbors
in the small town came together. They rescued one another,
then they found ways to share resources and cope with the
Photos and video of the destruction and recovery in Pittsfield are
interwoven with moving interviews of residents, as they tell their
stories. Abrams said, "A community that was always
self-reliant, strong, ingenious and generous proved itself, like so
many other Vermont towns, to be even more so when faced with
Abrams says something amazing happened after Irene hammered her
town. When locals realized they were cut off, had no power nor cell
phone service they turned to each other and went to work. Abrams
was so moved by what she saw in her town of about 550 people that
she made a movie about it, "Flood Bound."
While her house is still standing, she says it was touch and go
for a while and most of her yard was washed away. Abrams says
during and after the storm, she like everyone in town did what they
could to help pick up the pieces.
"The guys with the excavators just started working without being
asked, without being told," says Abrams. "And the medical people
set up a medical facility and parents started running a school to
take care of kids on the green."
Someone else taught yoga, she says another woman cut hair - some
"And I started videotaping 'cuz that's what I do," says Abrams.
"I really wanted to tell the story about what happened in
Pittsfield. I felt like it was a really amazing, magical thing and
I wanted people to understand and see it."
Abrams admits she didn't film as much as she wanted to.
"If I saw somebody digging silt out of their house," she says,
"I shouldn't be taking pictures of it. I should be helping them or
encouraging them but not sort of standing aside."
Still, with 38 interviews, storm footage and photographs, Abrams
weaves together an hour-long film that tells an intimate and
powerful story of neighbors facing down their fears and coming
Vermont Public Television's Kathryn A Scott says, "Beyond just
dealing with the flood and the anniversary, this particular film
shows what I think Vermonters like to believe about
Scott says VPT will broadcast Abrams' film, "Flood Bound," three
times over the next 10 days.
Scott says you can't help but be moved by it. "I found my eyes
welling up with tears just because I was overcome with emotion with
how compassionate these people are in just simple ways how much
they demonstrated their care for each other. Truly," says Scott, "
I'm not just saying that I get chills when I watch it. It's the
very best that Vermont offers to itself."
In the film, locals express how their feelings about the town
and each other changed because of the storm.
Traci Templeton put it this way. "The people that I saw at the
post office - now when I say hi to them we have this between us, we
have what happened between us and for me that's pretty special and
that's the magic."
For more information on the movie, check out
VPT FLOOD SERIES
"'27 Flood" looks at Vermont's Great Flood of 1927 through VPT's
archival footage and interviews on August 13 at 7:30 p.m., August
24 at 10:30 p.m. and August 25 at 11:30 p.m.,
Then a new 13-minute animated short called "Mad River Rising"
will air. Based on the play by Dana Yeaton, it was produced by
Middlebury College alumni and students. It features original
music by Anais Mitchell.
On August 23 at 8 p.m., "Impact Irene, A Public Square Special"
offers updates on recovery efforts, fundraising and more.
Wilmington, Pittsfield and Rochester, Vt., will be highlighted.
Viewers will be invited to join in with their questions in this
Recalling one of the outstanding benefit events that followed
the storm, VPT will re-broadcast "Grace Potter & the
Nocturnals: Goodnight Irene" on August 24 at 9 p.m. and again
August 25 at 10 p.m. The band performed a sold-out concert
last October at Burlington's Flynn Center.