Friday, June 3, 2011

Disaster Aftermath in Vermont

I spend the day Wednesday in a mobile home park in Berlin, Vermont that had been all but wiped out in a flash flood a week earlier.
Flash flood devastation in the River Run Mobile
Home Park in Berlin, Vt. this week.

I did an article on the flood aftermath there for the Burlington Free Press, highlighting how the disaster inflicted unremitting uncertainty on its victims. That maybe was the worst part of the flood for them.

We all like predictability. We like to know we will drive home after work, the home will actually be there, and we will follow our routine tomorrow and the next day, and the next.

That's what made me feel so bad about the flood victims in central Vermont. All that predictability was gone. Where will they live? What do they have, and what have they lost? Can they get back some of their possessions? How will they pay for it?

The initial moments or days of a disaster are exciting in their own way, even if they are tragic. There's drama and things nobody has seen before.
Paul Turner sifts through what's
left of his home after flash flooding
last week in Berlin, Vt.

Of course, the experience quickly gets old. You've got to rebuild your life, regroup, cope with all the stuff you loved that you lost. The lucky ones were not hurt, or didn't lose any loved ones. Fortunately, in Vermont, nobody died in the flooding.

< I didn't know it at the time, but as I wrapped up my visit to the the flood ravaged mobile home park, a big tornado was spinning through Springfield, Mass. 

The tornado added to the many thousands of people in the United States, a few of them in Vermont, who are coping with weather calamity after weather calamity.

Next up: The big Missouri River flood. It doesn't end, unfortunately.

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