The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 23, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Irene Reflections: Ludlow

Okemo Mountain Resort did not escape Tropical Storm Irene's fury unscathed, but the damage was considerably less than what some of our neighbors experienced. The community rallied in support of those in need and the newly created motto, "I am Vermont Strong," took on the status of a battle cry. Many staff members, Okemo Owner Diane Mueller among them, rolled up their sleeves and pitched in where needed around the community.

Few of the Resort's guests were impacted by the storm. The Jackson Gore Inn never even lost power and the Jackson Gore Base Area suffered no damage at all.

Okemo Valley Golf Club was accessible and open for play on 18 holes starting at noon, just two days after the storm. Tater Hill also reopened with 18 holes of play that same day.

A flooded snowmaking pond and washouts along Mountain Road were repaired, and autumn leaf peepers were able to wind their way to the summit of Okemo Mountain for colorful vistas during the foliage season.

The town of Ludlow went from being one of the hardest-hit Vermont villages to one of the quickest to recover. Residents and visitors spent the first few days in the aftermath of Irene cut off from the world due to washouts and road closures. All roads were repaired and access to Okemo Valley and Okemo Mountain Resort was restored in time for ski season.

Some damage can still be observed in the area, and some people's lives were impacted significantly. Irene was a crisis that reminded us what Vermonter's are really made of. For years to come, we'll be telling stories about the impact of Irene … and we'll always remember the unique experience of grocery shopping in a giant tent in the Ludlow Shaw's Supermarket parking lot.

Bonnie MacPherson
Director of Public Relations, Okemo Mountain Resort
Ludlow, Vt.

Tagged: hurricane irene, ludlow, Reflections