Tropical Storm Irene brought personal loss and public damage unlike anything experienced in more than a generation. High winds, heavy rains and flash flooding occurred in the state’s worst natural disaster since the epic flood of 1927. The rising waters claimed the lives of six Vermonters as countless others watched roads, bridges, homes and businesses wash away in a trail of devastation from Waterbury to Wilmington. The incredible damage to residences, property, land and our natural environment is still difficult to comprehend.
But as quickly as the waters came, the cleanup began. In an awe-inspiring demonstration of what it truly means to be a Vermonter, individuals, communities, and businesses joined together to begin the long process to rebuild Vermont Strong. Visit Vermont Strong for more information.
Check the Fema page for updated recovery information.
FEMA Video - Green Mountain Rising - A Very Vermont Recovery
FEMA Video - Mitigation works
Some News Videos that may be of interest
August 10, 2012
Contact: Adam Grinold
Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce
21 West Main Street
Wilmington VT 05363
VERMONT STRONG COMMUNITY RECOVERS FROM IRENE FLOODING
One Year Anniversary Marked By Progress & Community Spirit
August 28, 2012 is a date etched in history in the town records and literally on the town hall in this small tourist community in Wilmington Vermont. The morning of the flooding, town clerk, Susan Haughwout found herself racing against time as she and other concerned citizens frantically loaded vital town records into the elevator as the flood waters crested the Deerfield River’s banks and flooded the village streets.
The next day saw Wilmington emerge as one of the hardest hit communities in Vermont from the historic flooding from Hurricane Irene’s rains. As dazed residents and business owners fought their way to the village to begin the hard work of clean up, it quickly became evident to all that this event had changed their community forever. What was not yet clear that morning was the amazing capacity of this community to rally around its neighbors and fellow business owners. For the village of Wilmington is the geographical center of the Mount Snow Valley, located at the junction of the east-west corridor of Route 9 and Route 100, Wilmington is more than just a township, it is the heart of the Mount Snow Valley. Concerned community members from all the neighboring towns descended on the village for weeks until the immediate cleanup was complete. Countless volunteers from the large second-homeowner population continued to arrive on weekends, caring greatly for their Vermont community. Within the first week it quickly became evident that it took a community of surrounding towns to make Wilmington, Where Amazing Happens, come back to life.
In the immediate days following the flood a plan was hatched by local businesses owners, Chris & Stephen Jalbert and John and Rachael Pilcher to raise money for their fellow businesses owners with a Three day music even, Floodstock. This event raised over $65,000 for village businesses. Additionally, two other funds, The Deerfield River Valley Human Web, & Wilmington VT Flood Relief Fund were created, realizing over three quarters of a million dollars in donations.
For many, the iconic Dot’s restaurant became a rallying point around which to gather, collectively refusing to allow Irene to further change their village. Friends of the Valley organized significant financial support for rebuilding Dots after already committing to several hundred thousand dollars to renovate North Star Bowl. A group of both full time residents and second home owners formed The Wilmington Fund VT, a non-profit committed to assisting businesses establish themselves in the village. The Wilmington Fund VT purchased a historic building on the four corners of the village, formerly known as Parmelee & Howe building. Grants to assist the new boutique, "Beyond Imagination" as well as "Chapman's Antiques", "Dot's" and the "Village Walkway" are some of the projects receiving grants from The Wilmington Fund VT.
As the anniversary of Irene approaches, walking the streets of the village it is still evident that something is wrong; if you did not know about the flood you would not identify the specific cause, but there remains three vacant buildings on West Main street. Recently a group of volunteers descended on one of these, and working with the owners painted the entire building, cleaning up the landscaping and replacing the former business sign with a, “for sale by owner” sign. While these owners are not planning on re-opening, they have been given a hand by the community to help make their building ready to market. Behind the former restaurant another group of volunteers just finished construction, in partnership with the Wilmington Road crew, of a new, expanded town parking lot and boardwalk leading down to the future River Walk. The timing could not be better to market their building, as one of these vacant buildings was just sold. And, with an ever-increasing interest and enthusiasm for village real estate; Wilmington will continue to be where, “Amazing Happens”.