Vermont Public Radio Presents "The Irene Effect"

Hour-Long Special Airs Wednesday, December 14th At Noon And 7 p.m.

Tropical Storm Irene left an indelible signature scrawled on our landscape. The costs are still being tallied, but we do know the flood changed how we see the future.    

Vermont Public Radio presents “The Irene Effect” on Wednesday, December 14th at noon and 7 p.m. The hour-long special tells the personal stories of Vermonters still dealing daily with displacement and uncertainty in the wake of Irene:

  • A young Cuttingsville couple whose farm was washed away in the flood dealing with both the financial and emotional costs of Irene.
  • A 67-year-old Northfield man who lost his home and now wonders how he’ll retire.
  • A Wilmington couple who hope to rebuild their business on higher ground.

“The Irene Effect” also captures the uplifting moments when communities came together in the wake of the flood.  Pittsfield, a town with no doctor’s office or school, was isolated by the storm.  Residents set up a clinic and held classes on the town green in the days following Irene.

‘The Irene Effect’ examines what we’ve learned from the experience and what can be done to better protect us from future floods.  We hear concerns about damage to streams and rivers, and learn what the state would do differently in the future to better protect them.  We visit places where roads and the land beneath them were completely washed away and learn what’s being done to build them so they’ll hold up in future floods.

“As we look back over the last few months in this documentary, we understand more than ever just how significant Tropical Storm Irene has been for Vermont, for its towns and for its people,” said John Van Hoesen, VPR vice president for news and programming.

“Hearing both the hope and uncertainty in Vermonters’ voices in this documentary gives us perspective on the long-term impact of the storm in ways that we didn’t realize in the first hours or days,” Van Hoesen said. “It’s such an important story.”

‘The Irene Effect’ is narrated by VPR senior reporter Steve Zind and reported by Zind and producer Lynne McCrea. 

The program is made possible by VPR Journalism Fund.