The Mountain Times

°F Mon, April 21, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Mendon remembers Irene

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 community.

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.

Tagged: Irene, mendon