Pin It

Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene - It Was A Lot Worse Than Anyone Expected

First, I wanted to thank all of you who thought of Shawn and I as the storm barreled across our state. 

We expected rains.  We expected wind.  Heck, we even expected and were prepared for the power to go out.  While the lights stayed on and the rains stayed away from my home so much of the rest of the state, and even my town, wasn't has fortunate as I was.  As many have said, this may have been the worst hurricane ever to affect the state of Vermont. 

As much as I wanted to, common sense prevailed and I did not go out in the storm.., especially given my condition.  Shawn spent the entire day and night at the fire station doing one swift water rescue after another.  People trapped in homes.  Roads washed away whilst cars were driving across them.  Propane tanks floating down the river.  Iconic covered bridges becoming piles of lumber in choppy brown water.

It has literally been a disaster. 

I spent the entire day and night with the portable radio turned up loud, so I could hear it through the entire house, and listened to the dozens of calls pour in as the storm plowed through.  It was at least comforting to hear what Shawn was up to even if I knew it was dangerous. At least I knew where he was.

So while I hunkered down at home this is what was happening around me..

Those are propane tanks free floating in the flood waters.


A two story home actually  floating down the river in Jamaica, VT.


The famous Simon Pierce building/mill inundated by the river. 

The covered bridge in Quechee.  It has been washed away now... 

There really aren't words for how devastating this is.  At least one person in Vermont has died, a young woman who was standing at the edge of a river with her boyfriend.  She was swept away and all he could do was watch her disappear.  The landscape and entire architecture of towns have been changed.  With some of the largest rivers still yet to crest or cresting right now the flooding continues, which means so does the damage.  

My poor state.  

Even being prepared couldn't have prepared anyone for this. 


24 comments:

americanhoneyphotography.com said...

Wow! Praying for your beautiful little state! So sad to see the damage done. Glad to hear you are safe and sound though! ~Amanda

Roni said...

Just to your west in Central New York, I was thinking, wow...that storm wasn't so bad. We barely had 20 mile an hour winds and most of Irene's fury had petered out by the time she reached us. I was able to photograph how she churned up Lake Ontario and I sat there taking it all in thinking...wow, if this is what 20 mile an hour winds look like, I cannot imagine hurricane force winds. It's one thing when you watch the news and see reports with some sort of detachment. Another thing entirely to see firsthand how you have fared and how the people of Vermont were in harm's way. Makes it quite a bit more significant to me now. Someone's home is floating down the street! A man watched someone he loved be carried away. It's very sobering. My heart goes out to you Vermont. You'll be in my prayers.

Misty Dawn said...

Oh wow. I'm speechless. My heart and prayers go out to you and your entire town. So glad to hear you and Hubby are safe.

Janice said...

Jen I am so relieved that you & Shawn are safe. Reading the news last night about how devastating the storm was to Vermont left me wondering if you were okay. Thank You!for posting so early. We'll continue to pray for the recovery of all those on the East Coast.

Tarah said...

I'm so glad you guys are safe! I saw a lot of the damage and it's sad. I'm just glad it wasn't worse!

Jaclyn Hicks said...

So very happy to hear that you guys are alright, and so very sad to hear about your beloved state. Prayers going out to everyone there, this will surely take a long time to recuperate from.

Rebecca said...

We have family in northern Vermont (Champlain islands area) and are actually planning a move there at the end of next month. It's especially hard to think of all this flooding during a year when there had already been record flooding in some areas. I'm glad you're family is safe.

Glyndalyn said...

Jen, I am so sorry to see beautiful VT have so many problems. I have visited VT several times from TN and photographed many covered bridges. I remember several were built by brothers and have lasted for many, many yrs. So many historic buildings and houses (as well as people's homes) are built along streams and rivers. Never would have thought a hurricane would have caused so destruction so far north and inland. Glad you and family are safe.

MarieElizabeth said...

Sorry to hear it hit so hard, really surprising so far north. Sending prayers for those in need up there.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for quite a while, but have never commented before. I feel so bad for Vermont--you guys really got hit the most. Keep safe and happy times when your baby girl comes.

Miriam @ Sometimes I Veg said...

I can't get over how badly Irene hit Vermont. Southern New Hampshire got rain, not much worst than a long lasting severe thunderstorm. And Northern New Hampshire got a lot more rain and damage than we did. I'm so glad that more people have not been lost.

Stay safe and warm.

R. Roushey said...

I am still in aw that this happend to Vermont....it's the only inland New England state! I know Albany in NY and those around the Hudson also got hit hard in NY....it is so sad that those old covered bridges were destroyed. Thinking of you.

Mel said...

So horrible! I'm glad you and you hubby were safe. Our prayers are with you and all those around you.

Anonymous said...

So glad you are ok. I travel to VT quite often from CT and the Woodstock/Quechee/Killington area is usually where I stay. I remember Simon Pearce when he first opened the mill (OK, yes, I'm OLD! LOL) It's so sad to see all my favorite haunts under water or floating away.
My area just has lots of trees down and major power outages that may last a week or more, some parts of CT are flooding, but I haven't been out & can only see news reports on the internet. CT River will have major flood stage around me, but I'm far enough away not to be in it. I suppose sitting in the dark is a lot better than seeing my house float away.
Take care. Can't wait to see your little one!
Barb

Theres just life said...

I am glad you and Shawn are okay. I was worried about you both after watching the new coverage yesterday. You just never know about hurricanes. The worst flooding I have been through was during a Tropical Storm, not even a hurricane. It just sat over us and rained and rained and rained. I feel so sorry for everyone who lost their homes and their memories to Irene.
Stay safe.

Pamela JO

Rob Dares said...

I am glad to hear you and yours are ok, sorry to see and hear about the devastation in Vermont, such a lovely State. I read your blog for the first time on the night of the hurricane and had to come back to see how you fared during the storm. Here in Nova Scotia we got by fairly good, lots of wind, but not too much water as the storm moved across behind us. I hope all works out for Vermonters and you and your husband are soon enjoying being new parents!

emmy d said...

Oh Jen. I currently live in Maryland and it wasn't until yesterday afternoon that I heard about the devastation in Vermont. Glad you and your husband are alright and he has been able to provide help to others. While I have only been there a handful of times, it is the one place besides my hometown that has made me feel at home, and I really do consider the whole state a second home. Just one month ago I was standing in places that no longer exist. I have run those bridges, sat above the Ottaquechee River, loved the land and people with all my heart. It burst seeing the bridge in Quechee wash away and I have had a hard time controling my tears these past 2 days. I wear my Covered Bridges Half Marathon Shirt today. My heart goes out to all of you as I do the little I can from afar. If you have particular organizations that could use donations, please let me know; going towards the Red Cross at the moment.

-Emily

kittyhere said...

Glad you learn that you & Shawn are OK. I appreciate that you had photos to post but am so glad you stayed at home during the storm itself.

The town where I live in only experienced an 18 hour power outage. (Long enough that I took everything out of my basement freezer & kitchen fridge yesterday. I've been busy cooking up what would still be safe if used promptly.

My sister & her son in Lyndonville had to leave their residence & she has lost most all her personal property to water damage. It will be days if not weeks before the power returns there. In fact a volunteer fireman experienced a pretty good electric shock while checking the neighborhood.

But so far we can be thankful that loss of life in Vermont stands at 3 (likely to be 4) -- the father & son trying to protect Rutland by checking the pumping station is so tragic, but a testimonial to Vermont character.

Glad your baby decided to stay put for now. Best to you & Shawn, as I am sure he will be working hard for some time to come.

Anonymous said...

Glad you and hubby are OK. The rescue field can be quite scary at times. I have family over in Bridgewater/Woodstock and S. Pomfret. Still no contact with my day who lives in S. Pomfret. I'm sure he's OK, but it will be nice to hear from him when the elect/phones are restored. Stay put and keep that little peanut safe. Keep blogging. I love your photos. They bring a little of VT to me here in WV. (I ordered the yellow maple today. I am in no hurry - I'm sure things are hectic right now and will soon be for a while :) Take care

Erica and Sarah said...

Oh my gosh my heart brakes for you & your town. All I can say is seeing as we just lost our high school and one of our k-5 schools and so many homes and business to this earthquake. I hope your town gets more help then ours has. We have been brushed under the carpet & seems like we have already been forgotten. Stand proud and tall & get your town to fight hard to put it back together. Don't let the news and people forget about you too.
Sorry still very emotional down here in Louisa VA!

Smile Steady said...

Oh gosh, Jen. The pictures I keep seeing from Vermont just break my heart. I'm so glad you guys are safe and well!

Rosanne said...

I was so busy worrying about my relatives in NC that I didn't hear about Vermont until yesturday. The photos are unreal! Who would have thought Vermont would see so much devastation. So glad to know that you and Shawn are alright. Will be praying for all who have been affected.

Beth said...

So glad that you are ok! I've been thinking of you a lot throughout this whole thing. I will continue praying for you and your whole state.

Mandy said...

I am happy that you, Peanut & your sweetheart are ok. Prayers for y'all and Vermont!

Post a Comment

Comments make me smile :)

And if your Google/Blogger account has an email address with your comment I can reply to you!