Gov. Peter Shumlin announced a four-day series of commemorative events to celebrate how far Vermont has come in recovering from Tropical Storm Irene since Aug. 28, 2011, and acknowledge the work still needed to fully recover and build Vermont back stronger.
“Vermonters have a lot to celebrate on the one-year anniversary of Irene,” said Gov. Shumlin, noting that 500 miles of roads have been repaired, dozens of bridges replaced or repaired, more than 1,000 families have found housing, and flood-damaged businesses have reopened. “But we also need to recognize that many people and communities still need our help.”
Irene Recovery Officer Sue Minter agreed. “The one-year anniversary marks an important step in the healing process from Irene’s devastating impacts and is also an opportunity for Vermonters to reinvigorate the amazing Vermont Strong spirit to maintain the long term recovery process,” she said.
The governor announced the following as part of the anniversary commemorative:
Gov. Shumlin will spend four days from Aug. 25 to 28 visiting many of the communities severely impacted by the storm. He will be presenting officials in each town with an I Am Vermont Strong license plate, which are being sold to raise money to help Vermonters hit by the storm.
The governor is calling on churches, town halls and others to participate in a statewide bell-ringing for 30 seconds, beginning at 7 p.m. on the night of Aug. 28.
A free statewide commemoration event featuring music, storm videos, and more will be held on Aug. 28 at 7 pm at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph. An exhibit of artwork and photography will be on display at the Chandler starting at 4 pm. Randolph was among the more than 200 towns impacted by Irene.
Gov. Shumlin and the Vermont Long Term Disaster Recovery Group, are urging Vermonters to purchase the VTStrong license plates to support those who still need help.
Vermonters can visit the new Build Up Vermont website (www.BuildUpVT.com) to view photographs of the storm and the disaster recovery efforts. Visitors to the site are also asked to vote for the best photograph; the winner will receive free tickets to the Grace Potter concert as part of the in Grand Point North Festival at Burlington’s Waterfront Park in September.
Many local communities and recovery groups are planning Irene anniversary events. For a listing of many of those events and a wide range of information on the ongoing recovery, visit www.vtstrong.vermont.gov.