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To The Editor:
The aftermath of Hurricane Irene was devastating to say the least. It is coming up on two years now since the deluge of water that caused so much havoc throughout Vermont. For those who lost their homes and property, the memory will never die. It may fade to some degree but won't be forgotten.
Man and Mother Nature have worked together to clean up the damage she left behind. Because of these efforts, it is difficult sometimes to remember what it looked like at the time Irene tore through our state, other than, perhaps, reviewing pictures.
There are three specific locations in the Mad River and another spot on Pine Brook that have benefitted from man and his machine doing some excellent work. The bridge replacement and upstream work on Toby Richard's road is one such site. The brook's path was restored and its banks shored up so that, God forbid, the next such onslaught will be better managed.
On the Mad River, I refer to Lareau's area, above and below the covered bridge in Waitsfield village and, last, above and below the Tremblay Road bridge. At all locations, the river was dredged and piles of gravel that had been building up for years were removed. If one observes these locations, especially during our most recent heavy rainfalls, one can appreciate the water's ability to flow freely without immediately displacing beyond the riverbanks.
Kingsbury Construction performed the work on the Toby Richard's bridge and Dick Kingsbury personally labored at the Mad River locations referred to above. This was accomplished during Governor Shumlin's window of opportunity to work in Vermont's streams without having umpteen levels of bureaucracy looking over operators' shoulders. It was the right call and, in my opinion, very much needed.
I am more than cognizant that there are those out there who abhor the thought of machines working in our rivers and streams. I'm not insensitive to these positions. However, there are times when common sense needs to be heeded as opposed too often to overbearing and unneeded oversight. Hurricane Irene was one of those times and I commend Dick Kingsbury and other excavators who did a yeoman's job helping restore the streams and streambeds for the better.