The Mountain Times

°F Fri, April 18, 2014

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Two teens bring a community together and raise over $8,600 to help rebuild a covered bridge destroyed by Irene

Catastrophic flooding of Vermont's rivers and streams from Tropical Storm Irene caused Governor Peter Shumlin to declare a State of Emergency one year ago. The flooding in Quechee was far worse than the historic flooding in 1927 and caused record damage to homes, businesses, roads and the iconic covered bridge.

Two teenagers who witnessed the flooding were moved by the destruction and created a community service project called "Save the Covered Bridge."  Sarabeth Davis and Johnny Glidden, both 14, designed a t-shirt and approached local shop owners for assistance in selling the shirts. Ten vendors eagerly stepped up to help in the effort and unanimously felt that the project offered hope to a suffering community.

"After seeing the churning brown floodwater hitting the bridge with ocean-like waves, I'm surprised that the bridge is still standing at all!" said Johnny Glidden, describing a photo he took during the storm.

"Seeing the gaping hole in the road the next day with the bridge detached, is what convinced me that we needed to help rebuild," said Sarabeth Davis.

To mark the one year anniversary, Glidden and Davis handed over a check in the amount of $8,620 on Monday, August 27 to Hunter Rieseberg, Hartford Town Manager at the Quechee Covered Bridge, now in the process of being rebuilt. This ceremony was scheduled to coincide with a visit to Quechee from Governor Shumlin who made a four-day tour of many communities severely impacted by the storm.

"When we designed the t-shirt, we put 'Rebuilding the Vermont Way' on the back. With all the help and encouragement we got from the store owners and the people who bought the shirts, I believe in that motto now more than ever!" said Glidden.
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Tagged: Hurricane Irene, Covered Bridges