Even more of a mess, though, is the state of Vermont - a place that I have become rather fond of over the past few years as I've had occasion to travel up that way in search of covered bridges and historic inns. I've met some truly wonderful people up there that I consider to be friends and Amanda's friend Darci now attends school in Bennington. When I heard about the damage and devastation that was wrought by Irene in their area, it broke my heart and every time I see a picture like the one below, it breaks a little bit more.
|Image from BurlingtonFreePress.com|
Not too far from the town of Chester where I've been several times, the Bartsonville Bridge was unable to withstand the flooding of the Williams River and was swept away. A local resident actually captured it on film:
Built in 1870 by Sanford Granger, the bridge was a lattice truss style with a 151-foot span that was built after the the Great Flood of 1869 changed the course of the river replacing another covered bridge about a quarter of a mile up the road where the river used to flow. The Bartonsville Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was on my "list" of bridges that I had hoped to get to but was ironically one that I had hoped to see on my list visit to Chester but ran out of time to get to. I am still kicking myself for that one but there's not much to be done about it now.
|Image courtesy of Wikipedia|
|Image courtesy of YahooNews.com|
As sad as the loss and damage of these three bridges is, unfortunately there is a lot more in Vermont other than a few of their iconic covered bridges that was damaged and/or destroyed by the flood waters that resulted from Irene. Entire towns were cut off from the rest of the world, roads buckled or washed out completely, homes swept downriver, businesses flooded ... the list goes on and on and none of it is pretty
It's heartbreaking is what it is but in the midst of that heartbreak I've found a major admiration for the people of Vermont as they're not waiting around for the Federal Government to save them (or not as they case may be) but instead are rolling up their shirt sleeves and digging in to help each other out of the mess that Irene left behind. They aren't crying "Why me?" but instead are asking "What can I do to help?" I get the distinct feeling that when this is all said and done, Vermont is going to come out stronger than they were before Sunday, August 29th, 2011.
If you're wondering what you can do to help the folks in Vermont as they put back together what Mother Nature took away, please consider making a donation to the Vermont Food Bank either by visiting their website or by texting the word 'FOODNOW' to 52000 to donate $10. You can also visit the Red Cross website for Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley and perhaps make a donation there if you're so inclined. Either way, I'm sure that those unknown folks that you help in Vermont would be quite grateful.
I know that we all hurt from time to time but sometimes other people hurt more.