VT Irene Flood Relief Fund

About the Fund

Local businesses are the beating heart of our Vermont communities. The little shop downtown, the restaurant on the corner, the repair shop down the street — these are the places we work and the places we gather. They are vital to the economic health of our towns and the our state.

Hundreds of small businesses were in the path of the raging floods spawned by Hurricane Irene. Getting them back up and running must be a top priority in our recovery efforts – particularly with the critical fall and winter tourism seasons on the horizon.

With this pressing need in mind, we have established the Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund.

An expansion of the “Montpelier Alive” program begun after the May 2011 floods, the Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund gives you the opportunity to directly assist damaged small businesses all across the state.

Founded by Montpelier resident Todd Bailey, the fund is committed to distributing 100% of donations to Vermont businesses in need. Our fiscal agent is the Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC).

Read today's press release here

Buy a shirt, help rebuild Vermont

Donate: 100% of donations go to Vermont Businesses in need.

Quotable Vermonters — on Hurricane Irene

I love Vermont. I loved it long before I moved here. I always knew that Vermonters were special people — here, from The New York Times, is the most recent evidence: “We’re used to storms,” the governor said. “We’re used to taking care of ourselves in the winter, living on top of mountains in the middle of nowhere. You know, we know how to tough it out here. You’re not going to talk a Vermonter out of their house.”

...

Here in Pittsfield, where residents have taken it upon themselves to try to patch roads with local equipment and to fetch urgent supplies using all-terrain vehicles, Ray Rice, a resident of 11 years, said he had not even begun to think about what Mr. Shumlin and state government could do for the town.

“Oh God, no,” Mr. Rice said. “We’ve been taking care of ourselves pretty good.”

"For the Governor of Vermont, a Crash Course in Disaster Management" By  New York Times, September 1, 2011

-------------------------

“It’s brought out our strengths and created community heroes where we never knew there would be any,” said Kathryn Schenkman, a resident.

"Relief in Vermont Towns as Crews Make Inroads" By  New York Times, September, 1, 2011

-------------------------

In some places, stranded residents have taken matters into their own hands. When a bridge was shut down in Royalton, isolating many residents, local fire and rescue workers cleared a path through a sunflower field at the Hidden Meadow Farm. Uprooting a tree that stood in the way, they cut a hole in a chain-link fence to allow residents to temporarily drive their cars right onto Interstate 89 on what may be the shortest on-ramp in the country.

“They’re calling it the Hillbilly Highway,” said Rachel Bigelow, who set up a little farm stand selling sunflowers, tomatoes and corn by the jury-rigged interstate entrance that now cuts through her farm. Evelyn Saenz, a Royalton resident who drove through it on Thursday, praised it as “Vermont ingenuity” and had another name for it: “Exit 2 1/2.”

...

At the command center in Dummerston, Mr. Flynn tried to bolster his troops at a morning staff meeting by quoting a speech Calvin Coolidge gave when he returned to his native Vermont as president to help the state recover from the floods of 1927.

“I love Vermont because of her hills and valleys, her scenery and invigorating climate,” Mr. Coolidge said then, “but most of all because of her indomitable people.”

Mr. Flynn said later while holding a printout of an e-mail of the speech: “This may be corny, but it is something that was sent to me last night. It’s always been my favorite quote of Calvin Coolidge, but I never knew it was attributed to the flood of 1927. I think it says it all right there.”

"Battered Vermont Looks First to its Roads" By  New York Times, September 2, 2011

-------------------------

The outpouring of help has moved Mr. Perley and the Severance family. Some heard about them through word of mouth. Others read about their plight in The Valley News. Others offered assistance after the farm asked for help on Vermont Public Radio and on a Web site called #VTResponse, which was created after the storm as a sort of Twitter-age version of the venerable Swopper’s Column in Yankee Magazine, connecting volunteers and supplies with the flood victims who needed them.

“We are in desperate need of 16% pellets for cows whose food will run out tonight,” read one post on the Web site. The next day, people arrived with feed for the cows.

"Vermont Turns Out for Its Dairies as They Take Stock and Dig Out" By  September 4, 2011