Tropical Storm Irene left an indelible imprint on our town. With
the destruction of Route 4 and town roads, the town had to provide
services to approximately 250 residents isolated on the "island"
for eighteen days. The town dealt with the emergency in creative
and heroic ways with tremendous support from the greater
Over 200 volunteers, many of whom do not live in Mendon, came
forward to donate countless hours of their time.
Following Irene, the Mendon Historical Society recorded the
personal accounts of over 40 people who experienced Irene. They
told of not only the onslaught, but described what they went
through in the days that followed. Stories of resilience,
resourcefulness and strength emerged, but also tales of kindness,
generosity and selflessness became apparent. A true spirit of
community dominated the recordings. I guess one could say that
often good things come out of disasters.
As is often the case in small towns, only a small core of
volunteers actively participated in town affairs and activities
prior to Irene. In the aftermath of the storm, many others have
become involved. New connections and friendships were formed. We
hope to preserve and strengthen these connections thereby
increasing a sense of civic engagement and participation.
As a way to build upon this new found sense of community, the
town is holding an event on Saturday, August 25 from 2 to 6 p.m. at
the Mendon Recreation Field on South Mendon Road. Called the
"Irene Recovery Celebration," all townspeople, volunteers and
donors are invited. There will be a program acknowledging and
thanking all of those who helped. It will feature food,
entertainment, games and activities. It is free to all.