Forum reflects on lessons from Tropical Storm Irene

BELLOWS FALLS — On Wednesday, July 21, at 7 p.m., Laurel Green will facilitate a community discussion at the Rockingham Free Public Library on “Lessons Learned from Tropical Storm Irene.”

The Zoom discussion will be guided by two themes: how individuals, families, and businesses were prepared for this natural disaster that struck Vermont in August 2011, and how everyone can be better prepared for flooding in the future.

Archived audio clips from the Vermont Folklife Center recording “Rockingham's Irene Story Circle” will be shared in order to bring to mind the challenges experienced during and after the storm.

Participants on this recording include former state Rep. David Deen, who discussed the value of large culverts; Susan Hammond, who witnessed floodwaters carry away the Bartonsville covered bridge; Tim and Stacey Allen, who described the impact that flooding had on their business, Allen Bros. Farms, and the outpouring of community help they received; Nancy Bazin, who recounted memories of the rising waters that affected her family's cattle farm; and Mike Ghia, who helped in rescue efforts along the Saxtons River and reflected on the importance of bridge safety.

“Rockingham's Irene Story Circle” is one of many such projects created with Vermont Folklife Center's guidance.

Green is chair of Sustainable Rockingham, an organization whose goal is to increase resilience to face climate change in ways that are inclusive and equitable.

This program kicks off the series “Blue Sky Days,” which focuses on preparing for and bouncing back from local natural disasters. The series is sponsored by Sustainable Rockingham, the RFPL, and Rockingham Help & Helpers.

To receive an invitation and login information, email [email protected], or call the library at 802-463-4270.

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