Bridgewater and Woodstock, was devastated — ravaged by fast-moving water that ate
under and through its foundation. At first blush, the task of rebuilding this major artery
seemed a daunting task. Less than two weeks later work crews had reestablished the
road. Vermont racecar driver Phil Scott — who also happens to be Lieutenant Governor
— said 57,000 yards of material had been moved to fix the link from Rutland to Killington, much of it transported by local contractors.
When professional recovery teams arrived that first week, they found towns already
doing what needed to be done. Volunteers were being matched up with those needing
help; food was being distributed to those working door to door on the flood plains, and
roads were being rebuilt, whatever it took.
In many cases it was ski area personnel helping to “get it done.” Parker Riehle, the
president of Ski Vermont, said: “Our resorts have been reaching out to neighbors in the
surrounding valleys. Ski area employees with shovels, bucket loaders, ATVs and whatever equipment they can lay their hands on have jumped in to help with their customary
know-how for getting things done. Killington, Mount Snow and Stratton have provided
free lodging for families displaced in the surrounding villages. Okemo pulled together a
concert event within days to benefit the local community, just one example of ski area
fundraising efforts across the state.”
Ski academies, likewise, contributed to the recovery. Truckloads of students from Green
Mountain Valley School (GMVS), Burke, Killington Mountain School (KMS) and Stratton
pitched in despite the fact Irene hit on the very weekend most of them were opening.
GMVS students were out helping to rebuild the German Flats Road in Waitsfield, a local artery between Sugarbush and Sugarbush North base areas. KMS students, whose
first day of school was delayed by Irene, were at the local community center helping to
clean it up, and Burke students were waiting for the chance to contribute.
“We want to help,” said Burke’s Jody Flanagan, “and we were all set to head down to Waterbury to help with clean-up, but we got a notice from the Vermont Principals Association that they
are not allowing students — children and teenagers — to participate in clean-up because of the
dangers. So we’ve put our name on the list to help in rebuilding.”
In Maine, the bridges both north and south of Sugarloaf and the Carrabassett Valley Academy
(CVA) were washed out, but school got started on time with a bit of basement flooding and some
lost ski equipment.
“We weren’t totally unscathed,” said CVA Head of School Kate Punderson. “Some parents arriving from the north had to drive an extra hour or so and we had to do some drying out of the
basement which housed three classrooms and the ski rooms.”
At American Flatbread in
Waitsfield, Green Mountain
Valley School students help
In addition a storage shed out by the soccer field was swept completely away along with the
several bundles of Rapid Gates and some used ski equipment that are now “strewn through the
GMVS — whose soccer teams are temporarily using those in the village of Rochester — responded in no uncertain fashion. Said coordinator Tim Harris: “We took Monday following the
flood to plan where we could best be used, talked to businesses and the select board and on
Tuesday went to the (hard-hit) Bridge Street Marketplace and to American Flatbread. We did
that for two days and then re-grouped. We went to the Pitcher Inn in Warren and farms along
the German Flats Road and Route 100. It was fortunate to be able to go down to a site with the
whole school, students and teachers. Some of it was nasty work, but we were able to make a