ROCKINGHAM, Vt. (AP) A Vermont town is planning to mark the anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene by remembering the loss of a covered bridge, and celebrating the bridge that will replace it.
The town of Rockingham is planning a barbecue on Aug. 28 at the site of the old Bartonsville Covered Bridge, which was swept away in floodwaters. It was captured on video, one of the most famous images of the destruction Vermont suffered during Irene.
Vermont Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/N4FNBh) trestle work on the new bridge is starting soon, with major construction planned for October and November.
The Vermont League of Cities and Towns has told the Select Board that insurance will cover $230,000. That would leave about $700,000 for the town to pay. The amount of FEMA reimbursement is unknown.
MONTPELIER — Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says an event will be held in Randolph on the anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene to celebrate how far the state has come in recovering from one of the worst storms in the state’s history.
“One Year Stronger: A Commemorative Gathering on the First Anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene” will take place on August 28 at the Chandler Center for the Arts.
The event will include musical performances by the Vermont Youth Orchestra and VYO Chorus, and Vermont musicians Jon Gailmor, Diane Martin, and Shyla Nelson. Shumlin, other state leaders and flood survivors and volunteers will speak. An exhibit will also be on display of artwork and photographs showing the impact Irene had on Vermonters.
For a listing of other Irene anniversary events, visit www.vtstrong.vermont.gov.
WEST WINDSOR — A Vermont covered bridge swept away during Tropical Storm Irene is scheduled to reopen soon.
The Bowers Bridge near West Windsor was built in 1884. It was swept away by flooding, but washed up with its base intact on a river bank 150 yards downstream.
Selectboard member Tom Kenyon told the Eagle-Times the turning point was finding out that the actual historical part of the bridge was basically unharmed.
Residents are invited to attend a bridge dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6 p.m. Saturday.
MONTPELIER — Vermont lawmakers are coming to the defense of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s administration following criticisms by a candidate to unseat him that he misled the Legislature and the public about the amount of post-Irene disaster relief Vermont was likely to get.
Rep. Alice Emmons, a Springfield Democrat and chairwoman of the House Institutions and Corrections Committee says her panel purposely built a good deal of flexibility into this year’s state construction budget because of uncertainty about funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
She says both Shumlin administration and FEMA officials were clear with lawmakers that it wouldn’t be known for some time how much money Vermont would get.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock charged Wednesday that Shumlin and his aides gave lawmakers too optimistic a forecast about FEMA funding.
BRAINTREE — Vermont engineers and scientists say more than 300 river banks, bridges and other sites damaged by Tropical Storm Irene still need repairs — some to fix repairs done the wrong way after the storm.
Officials from the state agencies of Transportation and Natural Resources gathered Tuesday afternoon near a bridge along Route 12A in Braintree to talk about a second post-Irene fix needed there.
Rock was used to build up a steep river bank after the storm, but now officials say the rocks are small and likely to be swept away by the next flood on the White River’s Third Branch. They say the bank also needs to be pulled back to restore the river’s natural flow.
Most of the remaining work will be paid for with federal funds.
MONTPELIER — The state of Vermont has received approval to apply for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for repairs from last year’s flooding.
FEMA had ruled earlier that the state wasn’t eligible to apply for the aid at first. That’s now been reversed.
A 93-mile trail across northern Vermont, the Lamoille County Rail Trail suffered nearly $400,000 in damage from flooding during the spring of 2011, and another quarter-million dollars of damage from Tropical Storm Irene in late August.
The trail runs from Swanton to St. Johnsbury along the former Lamoille Valley Railroad.
The Vermont Agency of Transportation owns the railway right of way, and the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers manages the trail for the state.
Were you affected by Tropical Storm Irene? Were you evacuated or assisted by first or second responders during the time of the disaster? If so, come take the time to say thank you. Join Starting Over Strong Vermont and the National Guard Unit of Bennington on July 14th from 1:00-3:00pm at the Bennington Armory for an afternoon of remembrance and gratitude to the people who helped the community during and following Tropical Storm Irene.
Anyone that has been impacted by Tropical Storm Irene can be a part of this special event where people come together, say thank you, and support each other. This is a time to reflect on the resiliency and recovery in the community and to remember the kindness and generosity that occurred during and after the devastation from Tropical Storm Irene. Refreshments and children’s activities will be provided. For more information call 802-379-3929 or visit our website at www.startingoverstrongvermont.org.
SOS VT offers free, short-term interventions that promote individual and family recovery to those individuals experiencing distress and/or related emotional and behavioral difficulties from the flood. SOS VT is administered by Washington County Mental Health Services in conjunction with other designated mental health agencies and community services in the hardest hit regions of our State.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing distress or symptoms from the flooding please call SOS VT’s toll-free number for help, 1-855-767-8800, or visit our website at www.startingoverstrongvermont.org.
ROCHESTER, Vt. (AP) The golf balls are again flying at a course in central Vermont that was nearly wiped out by floodwaters from Tropical Store Irene. When Irene hit last August, floodwaters from the White River destroyed about 15 of the White River Golf Club’s 50 acres causing $100,000 in damage and forcing the course to shut down. The course re-opened for business on Friday, with six of the nine holes ready for play. Owner Pete McGowan says all nine holes should be open by the end of July.
BENNINGTON — Final repairs of a bridge on Vermont’s Route 9 washed out by Tropical Storm Irene could start this fall.
The bridge in Bennington suffered damage from flooding. Soil and rock underneath the piers was washed out.
The Bennington Banner reports a project manager with an engineering firm says he’s working with the Vermont Agency of Transportation to acquire the necessary permits to start work to shore up and strengthen the piers.
SOUTH NEWFANE — Residents in one Vermont town damaged by Tropical Storm Irene last year are replanting areas that had been washed away.
Some residents have installed wooden window boxes with flowering plants that rise above metal guardrails along a damaged road in South Newfane. Vermont Public Radio reports a sign on one of the boxes says “Rock River Revival Project.”
Longtime resident Carol Ross said before the flooding hit last summer, the area had lush foliage.
There’s been some planting of day lilies, bayberry plants, lilacs, forsythia, and roses.
The Rock River Revival Project is planning a parade for the last Sunday in August to celebrate how the community has come together since the flood.