On August 29th, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene passed over Vermont, the first such storm to hit the state since 1938. Almost every river and stream in the state flooded. When the water receded, four people were dead and numerous towns faced a massive cleanup, with nearly $700 million dollars worth of damage across the state. One of the affected towns was my hometown, Moretown. Nestled on the edge of the Green Mountains, it's the classic definition of small town: no stoplight, a combined general store and gas station, a tiny library, and a single elementary school, all serving a population of just under 2,000. When Irene passed overhead, the floodwaters topped the banks of the Mad River, and flooded more than 60 private homes and public offices , including the post office, fire department, elementary school, and town offices. Moretown isn't a place with significant emergency-response resources, but the residents did have their neighbors — and a new online message board called Front Porch Forum. In the aftermath of Irene, the residents of Moretown used this online community to coordinate meals for those left without a home, request assistance with the cleanup, or offer help with preserving family pictures. The… Read full this story
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