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Old Sep 2, 2011, 10:45 PM   #1
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Default Irene's destruction

Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm before it reached Vermont, but it still packed an incredibly powerful punch. Destruction was widespread, and in some areas it occurred on an unimaginable scale. I am very sorry to say that several people lost their lives in the storm, and dozens -- no hundreds -- of homes and businesses have been severely damaged or destroyed completely. My office building was flooded, and it appears unlikely that we'll be able to return before winter sets in.

I have spent most of the past week shackled to a computer, helping coordinate logistics for the emergency response, but because I have some knowledge of hazardous materials spills, and because I am familiar with the design and construction of gasoline dispensing systems I was asked to check into the damage at a small country store in northeastern Vermont. What I saw astonished me. The gasoline tank sitting on the ground surface was, before Irene arrived, buried deep below the ground surface. The concrete slab that was poured over top the tanks, is cocked at a bizarre angle, and the fiberglass piping that used to run from the tank to the dispensing island is twisted and broken. I found it amazing that the river jumped its banks and ran across this lot, destroying the gasoline tank system, but leaving the building with only minor water damage.

As I said, there was very widespread destruction, and much of it was far worse than this one facility that I visited. But this will give you some idea of what many people in Vermont (and many other northeastern states) are dealing with.
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Old Sep 3, 2011, 8:05 AM   #2
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Quite a telling image there! Hope that you were not affected too badly by the storm. It was unusual that an inland state such as Vermont got so severely affected by the aftermath of a hurricane!

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Old Sep 3, 2011, 3:23 PM   #3
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Wow! I was thinking of you last weekend as the storm went right over us here in New Hampshire. And, Friday/Saturday I kept hearing the reports that all New England towns had declared states of emergency except Vermont. And, understandably so watching the news forecasts.

I hope your home was not hit too badly. We just had some branches out of trees and lots of water, but nothing serious close to my home. Roads closed in town and some parts out of power earlier in the week. We only lost it for about 1 1/2 hours. Although, quite a few towns around us are still out of power to this day. (But, mostly going up 100% today I believe.) And, now we have Hurricane Katia following a similar path to Irene.

Time to start seriously thinking about generators again. Ugghhh, yet another expense on top of my jewelry purchase and the possiblity of the K-5 with the price drop.

Well, I hope your work situation gets settled and things start to run more smoothly.

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Old Sep 3, 2011, 3:58 PM   #4
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That's amazing destruction. It's more amazing that it reached you.
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Old Sep 3, 2011, 9:02 PM   #5
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That's quite amazing - would not have expected that type of thing at all!

So if your office building is going to be out of service for a long time, what will you end up do? A scary thought, trying to set up new offices somewhere else.

Patty, glad to hear you came through without problems.
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Old Sep 4, 2011, 8:40 PM   #6
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Incredible what the power of a storm can do. So glad you are OK, and hope the office repairs proceed rapidly...
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Old Sep 5, 2011, 5:49 PM   #7
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Thanks for the comments folks. The top managers in my Department are frantically searching for available office space, and in the meantime, we're working from home, using our cell phones and Internet access. I work for a state agency, and the biggest question is how will we serve the public, when our phones are out and our office is closed. There are still many issues yet to resolve!

But as I said, my family and my small town were very lucky. The destruction was far worse in many other communities.
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Old Sep 6, 2011, 3:12 AM   #8
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It's incredible what damage nature can do in such a short time. We don't have anything that bad, but ... we've seen the last years that their have been more floodings.

Hope that everyone will get their lives back on track.

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Old Sep 6, 2011, 7:27 AM   #9
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It is just so difficult to comprehend how Irene could effect Vermont so terribly much as seen in your photo... Very telling photo!!! I would have expected more damage in New Hampshire... Hope things get better soon. Ned
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