Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene's Aftermath

We took our boys to the Champlain Valley Fair the day before the storm. To get some much needed exercise, afterward I rode my bike back to my in-laws' camp on Lake Champlain where we would wait out Hurricane Irene. Saturday evening my husband stowed the deck furniture in a safe place. We all had books to read and numerous videos and movies to occupy us for an entire day.

Sunday morning the rain started and by 1 p.m. the winds howled. I kept an eye outdoors on the bending trees, but the gusts were, fortunately, not as bad as predicted. No limbs came down. Leaf debris littered the deck, then the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm. By evening we decided to stay another night at camp after a brief check on our home, where the usual small branches from our huge sugar maple lay scattered all over the backyard. In town the wind was considerably less than along the lake so we felt safe enough to leave for another night. By 5 a.m.Monday the wind left and we woke to sunshine and a clear view across the lake. I set out on the waterfront path to inspect storm damage.

Lots of leaves and small branches carpeted the trail. Parks and Recreation vehicles cautiously moved back and forth, while the crew used small chainsaws and blowers to clear the debris.

At the mouth of the Winooski River I stopped on the bridge for an amazing view of the strong chocolate-colored current carrying rafts of material out to the lake.

Later, I  brought my boys to the beach where a 10 foot swath of accumulated grass blanketed the shoreline, swallowing remnants of the storm and strangling dock supports. The lake had risen 3-4 feet.

We walked the beach, pulling out planks of wood from the grass and hauling a neighbor's sunfish further away from the rising lake.

I found this interesting mountainous-like formation that the waves molded against a retaining wall.
Up close, the water dug out a grooved channel. In places the water-soaked grass piled to nearly two feet.

While clearly there will be more cleanup and restoration of power, especially for residents who were evacuated from waterlogged homes in the rest of Vermont, Burlington escaped major damage. I am very thankful.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you and your family stayed safe. I saw some photos of parts of Vermont that looked pretty awful. In my neighborhood, one extremely large, and what looked to be a healthy tree limb - fell, and crushed a tall metal fence.


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