Join us on the second anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene for a special event with Peggy Shinn, author of Deluge: Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont's Flash Floods, and How One Small State Saved Itself.
On August 28, 2011, after pounding the Caribbean and the U.S. Eastern
seaboard for more than a week, Hurricane Irene finally made landfall in
New Jersey. As the storm headed into New England, it was quickly
downgraded to a tropical storm. And by Sunday afternoon, national news
outlets were giving postmortems on the damage. Except for some flooding
in low-lying areas, New York City--Irene's biggest target--had escaped
its worst-case scenario. Story over. But the story wasn't over. As Irene's eye drifted north, its bands of heavy rains twisted westward over Vermont's Green Mountains. Streams and rivers were transformed into torrents of brown water and debris, gouging mountainsides, reshaping valleys, washing out roads, pulling apart bridges, and carrying away homes, livestock, and automobiles. For weeks, mountain towns were isolated, with no way in or out, and thousands of people were left homeless. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, it fell on the shoulders of ordinary Vermonters to help victims and rebuild the state. Deluge is the complete story of the floods, the rescue, and the recovery, as seen through the eyes of the people who lived through them.
Peggy Shinn is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Ski Racing Magazine, Skiing, and Ski magazines, Fodor’s travel guidebooks, Vermont Life, and the U.S. Olympic Committee’s website, TeamUSA.org, among others. She lives in Rutland, Vermont.