I live on a well-drained hill. Consequently, Tropical Storm Irene was a big rainstorm (there wasn't even much wind) where I live.
Less than a mile away, however, in the village of Waterbury nestled in the valley of the Winooski River, Irene brought catastrophic devastation as the river overflowed its banks and swept through town.
|The Winooski River inundated Waterbury village, leaving a noxious layer of mud behind. A heavy odor of fuel oil hung in the air and there are health concerns due to sewage contamination.|
|The water swept over the town athletic fields carrying everything away. The white gravel is ballast from a washed out roadbed.|
|As the mud dries clouds of dust fill the air and settles on everything.|
That being said, it's very saddening to drive through town and see sodden piles of people's possessions out on lawns and to note that that there is a steady procession of trucks loaded with dumpsters through town hauling the detritus of people's lives and livelihoods -- many small businesses have been flooded -- to the landfill. I fear that a cheerless hard winter is coming and that many hard years ahead lie ahead in Vermont.