When the River Rose: Stories of a Vermont Town’s Flood, Recovery, and Rebirth, edited by David Goodman, photos by Gordon Miller -- A book about disaster and recover in Waterbury, Vermont in the words of its own residents.
Sales of When the River Rose have raised nearly $30,000 for flood relief!
On August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene lashed Vermont with all-time record rainfalls. The storm caused floods that wreaked destruction throughout the state: over 500 miles of state roads were destroyed, and some 200 bridges and 3,000 homes were damaged. It has been called a 500-year flood.
The town of Waterbury, where I live, was one of the hardest hit towns. Some 200 homes were seriously damaged and some destroyed. Overnight, many of my neighbors lost nearly everything.
I have been documenting the stories of the people in my community whose lives have been touched and changed by Tropical Storm Irene. These stories have appeared in Yankee Magazine, Boston Globe, Waterbury Record, Burlington Free Press, VTDigger.org and on radio station WDEV.
Following are the stories of disaster and hope that have continued to unfold since the flood.
"Vermont Lives: The Fall & Rise of Randall Street,"
Burlington Free Press, August 25, 2012
The story of how a Waterbury neighborhood was nearly destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene, and is now recovering.
"Vermont Lives: After Tracey Towne Lost Her Home to Irene, She Found a Path to a Better Life,"
Burlington Free Press, August 11, 2012
The story of mobile home resident Tracey Towne, who found her voice as an activist for dignity and affordable housing rights after her own home was destroyed.
Yankee Magazine, Nov./Dec. 2011
When Tropical Storm Irene struck Vermont, rain-swollen waterways washed away homes, bridges and roads. Amid the destruction, Vermonters found hope in one another.
"Vermont's Unsung Hurricane Hero"
Boston Globe, August 31, 2011
How WDEV, the 80-year old independent radio station in Waterbury, Vt., kept people connected throughout the storm.
"A Helper Reaches for Help"
Waterbury Record, 12/22/12
Rev. Peter Plagge of the Waterbury Congregational Church talks about unmet needs following Irene, and the challenge that he faces as a helper.
"The Ayers Family Gives Thanks for Family, and a Life"
VTDigger, 12/4/11, and Waterbury Record
The story of Gleason Ayers, 94, and his family, as they return home to their Waterbury home to celebrate Thanksgiving, just as they have for a century.
"Randall Street Rises Again"
VTDigger, 11/6/11, and Waterbury Record
The fall and rise of a flooded neighborhood in downtown Waterbury, as displaced Randall Street neighbors return to their devastated street to celebrate Halloween.
"Tragedy Strikes Refugee Family a Third Time"
VTDigger, 10/30/11, and Waterbury Record
A refugee family from the former Yugoslavia, once uprooted from their home at gunpoint, is now uprooted again by Tropical Storm Irene.
"Patterson Park Residents Face an Uncertain Time"
VTDigger, 10/23/11, and Waterbury Record
I encounter residents of a mobile home park In Duxbury, Vt. destroying their own homes in a desperate attempt to save money and move on.
"After the Bucket Brigades, Irene Losses Sink In"
VTDigger.org, 10/19/11, and Waterbury Record
Waterbury teens Liza Mackey & Naomi Koliba talk and sing about how Irene has affected young people.
"A Duxbury Family, and Neighborhood, Recover"
Waterbury Record, 9/29/11
Heather and Darryl Izor contend with a triple calamity, as their Duxbury home and daycare center and the Waterbury home of Darryl's parents are simultaneously flooded during Tropical Storm Irene.