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A year after Tropical Storm Irene hit Vermont and the Mad River Valley, many of those affected by the storm are back in their homes and many businesses have re-opened. Many people are just moving back into their homes after a long year of cleaning and dealing with insurance, FEMA and reconstruction.
Roads and bridges have been repaired. Moretown, which was very hard hit by the storm, has re-opened its school, post office and two churches in the village that were flooded. The Moretown town clerk’s office remains closed and its fate is uncertain.
Waitsfield’s Bridge Street has undergone much change since the flooding, with several new businesses and several that did not re-open and one that relocated.
Warren’s Pitcher Inn has cleaned up, rebuilt and re-opened and several people in The Valley are awaiting word on whether their properties will be subject to FEMA buyouts.
August 28 marks the one-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene which dealt The Valley and Vermont a devastating blow. The rain fell all day Sunday, increasing in volume in the afternoon leading to severe flooding in Warren, Waitsfield, Moretown, Duxbury and Waterbury.
The flooding from Irene rivaled or surpassed the flood of 1927 depending on which gauges were consulted. Flood stage at the Moretown gauge of the MadRiver is 9 feet. On August 28, 2011, the water crested at 19.06 feet which is just shy of the 19.4 feet in 1927. Some reports have the bridge cresting one-eighth of an inch higher than 1927.
Over two dozen homes and buildings were severely damaged (one destroyed) in Moretown. A home at the bottom of North Fayston Road in Waitsfield was destroyed. Homes and businesses on Bridge Street in Waitsfield were inundated with water and badly damaged. A Warren home was flooded as was the basement of The Pitcher Inn in WarrenVillage.
Both Waitsfield and Warren’s covered bridges were damaged and closed.
The bridge on Route 100B leading into MoretownVillage was closed as was a bridge north of MoretownVillage. German Flats Road turned into a deep gully at the FaystonElementary School. Huge swaths of Route 100 were gone from Waitsfield to Warren and even larger swaths of Route 100 were missing from Warren to Granville to Hancock and further to the south.
The flooding spurred a massive volunteer cleanup and the rebuilding efforts that continue today. Many, many people and businesses in the community were aided by help from the Mad River Valley Community Fund.