Impact Irene

Home destroyed by Hurricane Irene.
Jim Greenhill / Flickr

When Hurricane Irene struck the Upper Valley in 2011, The Upper Valley Haven, an emergency shelter in White River Junction, was there to help those who had lost their homes. Al Carbonneau and his family were among those displaced. 

Home destroyed by Hurricane Irene.
Jim Greenhill / Flickr

When Hurricane Irene struck the Upper Valley in 2011, The Upper Valley Haven, an emergency shelter in White River Junction, was there to help those who had lost their homes. Al Carbonneau and his family were among those displaced. 

Figuring that storms are as inevitable as death and taxes a North Country planning group will be looking at ways to minimize the impact of bad weather on the economy.

“You know we can’t predict the weather but maybe we can be prepared for what it might bring us,” said Patricia Garvin, the economic development coordinator for the North Country Council.

The White Mountain National Forest is getting some help with repairing damage done by Tropical Storm Irene.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

The White Mountain National Forest got some good news from the non-profit National Forest Foundation Wednesday.

That’s according to Tom Wagner, the White Mountain National Forest supervisor.

“They hope to raise a $1 million of private funds that would be matched by a $1 million of Forest Service funds.”

NHPR Staff Photo

A year ago Tropical Storm Irene devastated parts of Northern New Hampshire. One hard-hit business was the Crawford Notch campground, which was cut off from the rest of the state for three days by the storm.

Campground owner, Richard Garabedian, watched Tropical Storm Irene wash away 1.6 acres of his riverside campground, and the only roads that connected his business to the rest of the state.

He chuckles and says, "I still don’t sleep when it rains."

Irene Recovery Focuses On How To Minimize Future Damage

Aug 27, 2012
Steve Zind, Vermont Public Radio

One year after Tropical Storm Irene, the recovery process is still in high gear.  

It’s partly about pounding nails and painting walls, but it’s also about planning – and deciding what can be done to minimize the devastation of future storms.

Peter Edlund’s office has four wheels and gets about 40 miles to the gallon.  

As construction analyst for Central Vermont Community Action, Edlund oversees the work of rebuilding homes around the state damaged by Irene.  He spends his days in his car and today he’s in Moretown.

In late August of 2011, New England prepared as the storm barreled up the east coast.  Though downgraded to a tropical storm, Irene was still daunting -- and deadly. To the surprise of many, Vermont was the hardest hit, with roads, bridges, and farmland badly damaged and lives lost. But parts of New Hampshire were hit hard as well.  We’ll talk about how we’re recovering from this storm and what we’ve learned.

Guests

Chris Jensen / NHPR

It was a year ago at the end of this month that Tropical Storm Irene hit New Hampshire and when it comes to the White Mountain National Forest there are still plenty of unwelcome reminders.

Sound of ground-to-helicopter communications…

That’s Erin Lane and she’s making arrangements for a helicopter to make a sweeping turn and then hover over a clearing about two miles up the Zealand Trail in a part of Bethlehem that is within the White Mountain National Forest.

White Mountain National Forest

Tropical Storm Irene’s heavy rains did more serious damage to trails in the White Mountains than any storm in decades, says one of the authors of the new 29th edition of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Guide.

“It was only a limited number of trails, but the ones that were damaged were damaged very badly,” said editor Steven Smith of Lincoln. “It was mainly restricted to the trails that run along streams.”

 

The White Mountain National Forest will be getting $4 million in federal funds to repair road and bridge damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene.  But that will still leave the enormous recreational area well short of what it needs, an official said.

It is still a bit of good news for the economy of the North Country.

Some of the work will be done by WMNF crews but help from outside contractors will be needed, said Tiffany Benna, a spokeswoman for the WMNF.

The money is available from the Federal Highway Administration, said spokesman Doug Hecox.

Some New Hampshire residents are still dealing with power outages from the aftermath of the October snowstorm.

But in the Upper Valley, many businesses are still recovering from the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.

It’s been more than two months since Irene flooded the heart of the shopping district in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Three shopping plazas in Lebanon were hit hard during Tropical Storm Irene.

First Tropical Storm Irene; Next, the Building Code

Sep 26, 2011
Erik Eisele, NHPR

It’s been almost a month since Tropical Storm Irene caused major floods around New Hampshire.

For most of the state the storm is a memory and life has returned to normal.

For one neighborhood in Conway, however, the storm was just the beginning.

Transvale Acres is a hardhat zone.

SFX: Hammer pounding

The Conway neighborhood was hit hard when the Saco River flooded.

The water knocked houses off foundations, crested over cars and left people homeless.

But the construction sounds aren’t just from people rebuilding.

Erik Eisele, NHPR

By Erik Eisele

 

It’s been over a week since tropical storm Irene flooded parts of the White Mountains, washing out bridges and roads.

The flooding damaged millions of dollars of infrastructure, but in some places it was more than highways that suffered.

When Irene swept through northern New Hampshire it dumped more than six inches of rain in some places.

People found themselves stranded, either unable to leave their homes or unable to get back to them.

Some found they had nothing to come home to.

For Upper Valley Flood Victims, a Long Road Ahead

Sep 1, 2011
Elaine Grant, NHPR

In White River Junction, a melange of fascinating businesses face challenges recovering from Irene...but not nearly so great as the obstacles facing residents of West Hartford, many of whom lost their homes to the raging White River.

Just over the border from New Hampshire in Vermont, the Upper Valley town of Hartford was ravaged by flash floods from Hurricane Irene.

Business owners and residents in the villages of White River Junction and West Hartford who have lost everything are doing what they can to dig out from the mud and debris.

Three rivers in the northern part of the state set new records thanks to Irene. On Sunday the water flow was more than 100 times normal for the Saco and more than that for the East Branch of the Pemigewasset and the Pemi. 

During Irene’s visit anyone who looked at the torrents called the Saco, East Branch of the Pemigewasset and the Pemigewasset probably guessed that the horrifying amount of water tearing past was a record.

And that was the case, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Courtesy of The Notchland Inn

Visitors to the Notchland Inn got a longer stay than they'd planned when bridge and road damage gave them no way to leave. And a 100-site campground was decimated when the Saco River flooded.

Hart’s Location, a town of less than 40 people nestled in the White Mountains, was extremely hard hit by Irene.

We wanted to talk with Ed Butler, co-owner of The Notchland Inn…but we found it difficult to reach him. Here’s what greeted us when we called.