In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, central Vermonters found that large stretches of Route 4 were made impassable, stranding people in rural areas without road access to their jobs, schools, and grocery stores.
Necessity led those Vermonters who needed access to the far side of the mountain to find a half-mile forest path they could walk to get across the mountain. More than 1,000 people a day now walk the path between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to get to their jobs and go food shopping on the other side.
The greater community has come together to help those who need daily passage to the other side of the mountain.
A1 Sewer and Drain donated Porta-Pottys to be placed at each end of the trail. Celebration Rentals supplied tent canopies, under which sit volunteers giving out sandwiches, beverages, doughnuts, and candy. Green Mountain National Gold Course has lent six golf carts to transport the elderly and infirm across the path. Central Vermont Motorcycles and the Hendy Brothers John Deere dealership have lent all-terrain vehicles that are used for safety patrols. John King, the owner of the Gramps Shuttle, has volunteered his vans to take students up and down the mountain to school and adults who don’t have rides at the end of the paths to their destinations.
Town officials hope to have passable roads in the next few weeks, before the first snow.
Even though the path is only a half-mile, for local schoolchildren, it is not an easy commute. Parents drive their children to a pickup area on Route 4, where the Gramps Shuttle van meets them and takes them to the path. There, parent volunteers walk the children through the woods. A small school bus picks up the children and takes them to Sherwood Drive, where a big bus waits to take them to school.
- Tropical storm Irene isolates battered Vermont town from outside world (nj.com)
- Share the Bright Side of Vermont: A Call for Vermonters’ Photo and Video Submissions (prweb.com)
- Rochester, Vermont Hit Hard By Irene (huffingtonpost.com)
- Ski Vermont Volunteerism and Green Mountain Giving (prweb.com)
- Vermont Remains Hopeful in Midst of Disaster (abcnews.go.com)
- Vermont Hit By Worst Flooding In Almost A Hundred Years Thanks To Irene (lezgetreal.com)
- After Tropical Storm Irene, Vermonters’ Way Of Generosity Helps Each Other (huffingtonpost.com)
- Residents lean on each other in cutoff Vt. town (msnbc.msn.com)