On that Saturday afternoon it was difficult to imagine just what was coming our way, and what it would mean to life in our small state. During that night, Irene made landfall and headed due north up the spine of the Green Mountains. What she brought on that fateful journey was rain, and lots of it.
By Sunday morning, it was clear how big a punch Irene was delivering, and it was just the beginning of one of the most difficult days most of us will ever face. By the time the day was over, we know Vermont would never be the same.
There is no doubt that Irene’s impact has been profound, and it will be long lasting. A generation will always recall the storm and the events that took place in its wake. There are thousands of stories to tell about Irene. Some of those stories are horrible, some humorous, some heart-wrenching, some hopeful. Over the next three weeks there will be a number of gatherings to commemorate Sunday, August 28, and the aftermath of the storm. There will be countless stories to tell, all of them critical to the ongoing recovery process.
We encourage all to take part in some of these events. We in the media will no doubt do our part as well. Across the state, and most likely the nation, news media will recount the storm and the response to it. That’s a good thing. In any traumatic experience, there’s a bit of catharsis in recounting what took place. We in the media are no different in that respect.
Beginning in this week’s edition, The Deerfield Valley News will be running a series of articles recalling Irene, and letting our readers know about commemorative events around the region. Readers and community groups will also have the opportunity to tell their tales. We encourage all to send us their information and their stories.
Needless to say, we can’t report and recount everything that took place during that time. What we hope we have done, and continue to do, is provide fair representation of what has taken place, what is taking place, and what hopefully will take place.
What’s so memorable is not just the havoc dealt by Tropical Storm Irene, but the response. Residents, second-home owners, visitors, and total strangers all offered to help, and the response was encouraging and overwhelming. It’s important to the healing process that we take the time to look back, so we can collectively laugh, cry, sigh, and remember those life-changing hours and days.