Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sad Hurricane Irene Debris Still Litters Vermont

Tuesday, I covered a Vermont governor's press conference for the Burlington Free Press on a showery day next to an area of scrubby sumac trees littered with dozens of tires, pieces of houses and scraps of rotting furniture.
Somehow, the glass on this door didn't break as Tropical
Storm Irene flooding swept this door away last August.

The Governor, Peter Shumlin was announcing a change this year to Vermont's annual rite of spring, Green-Up Day. Green-Up Day, established in 1970, hits the first Saturday in May each year. Thousands of volunteers go out and clean up road side litter that accumulated over the winter. It's really a nice event.

This year, Shumlin noted that while the debris from the devastating floods of Tropical Storm Irene have been removed from the streets of Vermont's scenic towns and villages, there's still a big mess hidden along the river banks and back behind the neighborhoods that were wrecked last August in what was easily Vermont's worst flood since 1927.

So, the governor said Green Up Day would last all spring, and be called Spring Clean Irene. We will still all go out the first Saturday in May to clean up the road sides, but volunteers will also fan out to help clean the debris marring the scenery, a legacy of last August's floods.

There's a nice Web site, Vermont Strong, which matches needs with volunteers and everybody is urged to go there and see what they can do to help.
This tire got hung up in trees during Vermont's Hurricane
Irene flooding last August.

It's all a great idea, and I hope there are a lot of volunteers. The press conference, even with a $25,000 donation from the guy who runs Subaru of New England, was sad, however.

Sad, because I wandered through the underbrush, photographing the pieces of people's lives that floated away in Tropical Storm Irene last August.  Much of the debris consisted of tires from a nearby washed out junkyard. But I'd find a television, childrens' toys, a Christmas decoration, a child's swing, an easy chair.

It was dark and drizzly as I took the photos, some of which you can see in this post, adding to the gloomy tableau. I just hoped that everyone affected by the flood is recovering as best they can.
A Christmas decoration swept away in Tropical Storm
Irene flooding in Vermont last August. 
An easy chair in the woods in Waterbury, Vermont, swept
there by Tropical Storm Irene flooding last August

A child's swing amid the Tropical Storm Irene flood
debris in Waterbury Vermont this week. 
A television amid the flood debris from last August's
Tropical Store Irene, photographed Tuesday in
Waterbury, Vermont

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