Joy and I were separated during Irene, she got stuck at the
Restaurant and I was stranded at home with the kids in North
Sherburne (or is it North Killington?) Our experiences were
much different because of our separation.
The homestead was unscathed, but our quiet development was
sliced into sections by large craters in the road from overrun
culverts and bridges. The two ways out of our neighborhood were
both gone, one is still not open to date.
By 2 p.m. the kids and myself put on rain jackets and went out
to see what had happened, as soon as we went outside we heard loud
thumps and cracks coming from the valley streams rolling giant
rocks down the rivers and streams. Our driveway had a few areas of
erosion, but nothing to stop us from coming and going; the town
roads, however, were all but destroyed, with more pavement gone
than remaining in some sections. The roads became crowded with
other folks coming out and doing the same thing as us.
What really struck me as amazing was the fact that everyone just
seemed to accept what had happened and instantly started the
recovery process one stick at a time.
One stick might seem meaningless from what was in front of us,
but it set a tone for me and most that we were all going to have to
chip in one way or another. So we started going to work almost
instantly one neighborhood at a time.
Joy and Sneaky worked all night through the storm, we held on to
power until 9 p.m., so they were privy to all the mayhem and
destruction through customer accounts. Joys feelings of how bad it
was were confirmed the next morning when she tried to come home and
realized it would not be by car. Each route was met with a dead end
and a massive path of destruction. By early morning the day after
Irene, crews were organizing and getting a plan together to get
started-amazing if you think about it.
And so it went, people just jumped in and helped out however
they could, whether it was answering phones, making sandwiches or
running a chainsaw clearing debris. The recovery went a lot
like that, people and crews worked tirelessly day and night, and we
got power back, town-by-town and then roads the same way, Mendon,
then Killington, then Pittsfield and so on out to Rochester
The amount of work was incredible, but I never sensed anyone who
showed any signs of pity, which still amazes me today.
I like where I live more today than before Irene, and feel as
though petty disagreements and issues seem to be working themselves
out through dialogue, not conflict anymore. Our leadership has been
strong and we need that to continue because we still have a lot of
work to be done.