Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A Message to Readers/Followers - post Irene

Dear Blog Followers and Tweeters -

Last week for the first time in 12 years, I did not have a column (Tailfeathers) in the Brattleboro Reformer.

Hurricane Irene hit my little village of South Newfane with extreme fury (Photos below), washing out large sections of all roads into the village, destroying and damaging bridges, destroying and damaging many homes. The Rock River and the Marlboro Branch cut new channels and changed course in many places.

I was fortunate. I was in Philadelphia with family. My home had no damage, but about 35 feet of our yard disappeared, including the leach field for our septic system. I made a brief visit to South Newfane last week when a bridge was temporarily made passable and contact with the village reestablished. I will return to Vermont again this week to begin work with an engineer on a new septic system, and to help in the community where possible.

Birding is on hold for the moment. Column writing, blogging, and photography all have writer’s block, blog block, and photo block.

Please be patient. Keep me on your list and check back from time to time.


The bridge abutment washed out and one end collapsed. But the bridge structure was still sound. Remarkably, this became the place where South Newfane was reconnected with the rest of the state. A sand and gravel ramp was built from the bridge to the road surface. (Photo from the facebook.com/NewfaneBulletin - a page put up a day after the flood to provide information and connection for people)

Dover Road east of the green iron bridge. The river's edge was just to the right of the photo. (Photo from CVPS, I think)

Further east on the Dover Road where the Rock River tried to cut a new oxbow. The river channel, pre-storm, was about 50-60' to the right of the photo (Photo from VPR, I think)

Our backyard along the new river's edge. Pre-storm, the river bank was to the left of the photo, with a huge old willow tree at the bottom left corner, just outside the current photo. The part of the river seen in this photo was a pine covered slope.

From what I have learned, engineers feel the river will want to reclaim its previous bed and that its new banks are unstable. Heavy equipment is working in the river to put the river back in its old banks.

When I have the opportunity I will post a few additional photos, and hopefully before too long, will be back to the birds.


FAB said...

Hi Chris. Good to hear that you and the family are safe after such a devastating event. Wishing you and all the inhabitants of South Newfane every success in recovering from Irene.

Dawn Fine said...

Wow! Glad your home survived, I know many did not. What a mess it must be. We will totally understand your absence, I am sure you will be very busy. Take care..wish you the best!

If you need a break we are having two BwBTC outings
Sept 24th Plum Island
OCT 15 Western CT with Luke Tiller

Unknown said...

Glad to hear that you are safe and sound. Hope the rebuilding goes well!

Chris said...

Hi Chris. Well the main thing is that you and your family are safe and that's the most important. The damage seem to be huge when seeing the pictures! Hope no people lost their life!! Good luck and we will check out when you will come back...

Dick Mansfield said...

Glad you and your family are safe. Good luck with the rebuild and look forward to your future recovery and birding posts.

Wilma said...

That is some serious damage, Chris! Glad you and yours are safe. Hope the river goes back to the old channel and that you recover your yard. My thoughts are with you.

take care,

eileeninmd said...

I am glad you and your family are safe. I had heard of all the damage in Vermont and my thoughts are with the people who live in Vermont. I hope the rebuilding is quick.

Jen Sanford said...

Wow, Chris, I'm sorry to hear of the devastation in your area... Good luck with clean up and fix ups... Funny, I was in Philly for the hurricane also!

Appalachian Lady said...

Those are amazing photos of the damage. Thank goodness you were in Philadelphia.

Anonymous said...

Chris, glad you're all safe. Sorry you have to go through this awful experience. Here's hoping life will get back to normal very soon.

Deejbrown said...

Hi, Chris: Just checking in to see if you are back yet and if all is okay. I plan on traveling up to VT in a couple of weeks to see my family so if there is anything I can do for you or deliver, please let me know!

Kelly said...

Hi Chris. I'm glad you and your family are safe and sound, but boy, oh boy....you and your community have so much work to do. When I saw the reports coming in, my heart went out to everyone in Irene's destructive path...


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