Friday, March 20, 2015

Hurricane Irene

When Hurricane Irene hit South Newfane on August 27-28, 2011, she had been downgraded to a tropical storm. Even so, she hit the Rock River and Marlboro Branch Valleys hard, and left a mess.

Within hours, the community responded. Local excavator Todd Brown built a ramp on the Green Iron Bridge to reconnect South Newfane with Windham County. Neighbors came off the hill tops to the Williamsville Grange to establish an emergency center, provide meals, and assist neighbors. When the Vermont National Guard and FEMA arrived (within a day, so no delay in their arrival), they already found the community days, even weeks ahead, of most communities.

Such is the nature of this community where we live! A very special place!

We were fortunate. The lower lawn was flooded and in places covered with a couple of feet of silt. The leach field for the septic system was washed out. But the house was completely untouched.

Lower lawn - post Irene

Lower lawn

The Town of Newfane (and FEMA) put the Rock River back in its place! By the first week in October, our river bank was completely rebuilt and restored, and we had the potential for a much better back yard than ever.

Putting the Rock River in its place

Todd Brown cleared debris, scraped out the silt that the restoration had missed, and installed the new leach field - well above the flood plain. By October 17, it was seeded and complete.

Clearing debris left behind by Irene
Completed leach field behind the house - October 17, 2011
 All that remained was to add top soil to the back yard and sow grass seed. That happened the following April.

Spreading the topsoil
 By mid-summer, we had a wonderful, grassy, park-like back yard ...

Mid-summer, 2012 - lawn to enjoy

... where the occasional ursine can wander by  ...

Black Bear on May 31, 2012 - Rock River behind our home
 ... and where a groundhog can cavort ...

Groundhog - July 24, 2012