Not Irene, but...

Bethel takes on an Antarctic Cast

           Vermont’s not flat, so options have always been limited around here when it comes to laying out athletic playing fields. For most of our communities, the best choice has been the river valleys, which come with predictable flooding hazards.

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           For about a month now, the Bethel athletic fields have been showing the scars of January flooding that other towns managed to dodge. The ice jams that backed up just north of the village and spilled out onto the playing fields left behind significant damage to the fences, backstops, soccer goals, and perhaps the playing fields underneath.

            Viewing the terrain earlier this week, it looked surreal, like something out of the Ernest Shackleton saga – huge irregular ice floes tossed irregularly about the landscape. We all know the power of water in liquid form. In solid form, ice is even more formidable.  

            At question is what will be the long-term effects after all this eventually melts in April. These fields in Bethel get a huge volume of play for baseball, softball, and soccer from adult to pee-wee level.  Hopefully the damage can be repaired fairly simply and Bethel isn’t looking at any long-term restoration projects.


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