Tropical Storm Irene Happened 7 Years Ago Today (VIDEO)
Seven years ago today, if you can believe it, the relentless rains of Tropical Storm Irene unleashed historic flooding and destruction throughout Vermont.
For many of us, memory serves up more than mere images. It was to have stood somewhere safely above the raging water line in any given town—Bethel, Woodstock, Quechee—and felt equally mesmerized and haunted by scenes of bridges and homes and roads washed away, the landscape itself being rewritten in front of our eyes.
Depending on your perspective and how you were impacted by Irene, seven years can seem like ages ago or only yesterday. Communities united in breathtaking ways to rescue one another, clean up the devastation, and begin to rebuild—stories of which are innumerable and now part of Vermont lore.
And there are the documentarians on that awful day, who shot video (sometimes against their better judgment) to capture the scale and swiftness of the destruction. Here are some that, while painful to revisit, serve as a reminder of how far we've come to restore these landmarks and our communities.
A video of the incredible flooding and washout in Quechee:
A little further upstream on the Ottauquechee, by the Taftsville bridge:
A sight that probably none of us had ever seen: propane tanks exploding at the bottom of the Quechee Gorge:
And it feels fitting to include this symbol of Vermont ingenuity and courage—the now-iconic man delivering medicine on horseback in Rockingham: