On the Anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene: The Untold Story of What Went Right

Over the past year, Vermonters have come together to cope and to rebuild after the devastation caused by the state’s worst natural disaster in more than 80 years. And although much of Vermont sustained damage from the storm, two organizations are now sharing the untold story of what went right: successful land use planning meant that some towns that could have experienced extreme flooding were largely spared.

The Otter Creek in Rutland leapt up as Irene struck, increasing in flow by nearly 20 times in the space of a little more than a day, while downstream in Middlebury the river rose much more gradually, and more safely. 

Larger culverts like the one in this video on Jenny Coolidge Brook were still standing after Tropical Storm Irene while others failed, preventing a costly replacement as well as preventing erosion and other flood damage.

High Meadows supported the production of these videos because they emphasize the way in which land conservation and land use is linked to community development, and because we are exploring how land use in Vermont needs to adapt in the face of a changing climate.

These videos were produced in collaboration by the Conservation Law Foundation and the Connecticut River Watershed Council, with funding provided by the High Meadows Fund.  Contact us to learn more about this project or the topics discussed in these films.