Hurricane Irene's effects certainly were unpredictable, even with our modern weather technology.
My long-time friend, Mary Ellen Porter, and I talked on a cell phone about Irene's progress. We were worried about her 83-year-old brother in Manhattan, N.Y. He assured everyone he was fine. He had stocked up on emergency supplies and planned to stay in his apartment on the 15th floor.
We were convinced that her sister, Elaine Soule, in Randolph, Vermont, might just have to cope with some bad wind.
Boy, were we wrong! Irene, which was downgraded to a tropical storm, had other plans. It will take years to repair Irene's damage to the beautiful green mountain state. I visited Randolph in 1999 and stayed in Mary Ellen's family's house. They have owned it since the end of the Revolutionary War. The property is on a farm located on high ground. It survived.
Some of the trees on this property are at least 150 years old They have to be taken down. Raging flood waters that cut a path through the center of Vermont have changed its historic places. Its beautiful covered bridges are ruined. Unique colonial buildings and country stores, along with historic inns are just memories.
I'm asking my family to look through my things and bring me a souvenir calendar of Vermont's covered bridges.
I hope that Stowe, Vermont, and the von Trap Inn have survived without too much damage.
Helen Ruth Arnold,