In and around Killington Monday and Tuesday, August 29 & 30

This week's Blog Patrol is brought to you by Bernie Weichsel, President, BEWI Productions, Inc.

I am posting these after my return last evening-from Vermont! I had planned, a while ago, to go up to Killington this past weekend to take care of some issues with the Inn of The 6 Mountains. I drove up on Friday and ,with the approaching storm, decided to stay in Killington until Monday. Of course I had no idea I'd be witnessing some of the worst weather, and its aftermath, to ever hit Vermont.

While the storm started petering out on Sunday night into Monday morning, after raining up at Killington 10+ inches, it was only when dawn broke on Monday morning that we started to get an idea of what kind of damage Tropical Storm Irene had done. What was clear was that Killington was an island, cut off in all directions with a four-day estimate for getting out. Electricity was out (but the Inn, luckily, was one of the first to get it back at noon Monday) and so were phones (but cells did work). After some scouting, we found out we weren't going anywhere fast!

The Killington area, being basically higher up, fared relatively well, as did, I understand, most ski areas in the state. However, the Superstar wing of the Killington baselodge--built over a stream--did get wiped out (see photos).

I walked up to Killington on Monday afternoon to take a look since the road up was closed. Folks came back telling us that Route 4 going both ways, east and west, from Killington, had been washed out, as well as 100 north and south. I investigated East Mountain Road, which proved impassable on Monday morning, and we were told that Route 4 from West Bridgewater to Woodstock had many breaks. All the while, reports via the media, or phone calls, kept coming in describing the terrible destruction in Ludlow, Jamaica, Pittsfield, among many other towns.

Most sadly was what happened to our good friend Phil Camp and a whole area
of Western Woodstock-utter devastation; I saw Phil, almost in tears, on TV Monday night saying that this week's edition of his paper - Vermont Standard - would get out--nobody I know doubts him! Vermont's got a lot of rebuilding to do, but, as we all know well, Yankee ingenuity and toughness will see them through, and quicker than anyone expects!

When Tuesday morning broke, we got word that East Mountain Road had been cleared of debris (by a Killington bucket loader) enabling us to get to West Bridgewater, and even though there were parts of that road that were only wide enough for a car to pass-barely--we made it to route 4 and found, besides some serious destruction in West Bridgewater, cars coming from Woodstock on Route 4 west. So, off to Woodstock we went, slowly and negotiating a number of narrow passages and skirting debris, but we made it. Going east from Woodstock the road was in its usual heaving road condition (except for the roads heading off to the north to Quechee, which were blocked off). We finally made it to the Interstates, where all was normal.

The following are some photos I took, not only in Killington, but on the road to Woodstock. Hope wherever this finds you, you are well, safe and dry! Do plan on visiting a rebuilt Vermont as soon as you can; they'll need everyone's support!

Bernie Weichsel