Tropical Storm Irene

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Story-Video-Podcast: Minter: Experience would guide service

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Listen to Sue Minter discuss the issues:

MONTPELIER — For Sue Minter, the destruction of Tropical Storm Irene — and the state’s successful recovery — is a template for the way she would lead the state. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate was the secretary of the Agency of Transportation in 2011 when the catastrophic storm pounded the state and the subsequent flooding devastated communities from Wilmington to Minter’s home in Waterbury. “We received 15 inches of rain, and overnight, 500 miles of road was gone, and it was our job to mobilize quickly and effectively,” Minter said. “It took an all-in approach with thousands of people involved, neighbor helping neighbor, and it’s really been a transformative experience for me, both in the emergency phase in the first few months, but then to have that responsibility to address 3,500 homeowners whose homes were damaged,” she continued. Minter points to her experience as the head of the Agency of Transportation, where she oversaw 1,300 employees and a $600 million budget, as both giving her the tools to make government work and proof she is ready to lead the state. Continue Reading →

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Minter’s first TV ad focuses on Irene recovery

MONTPELIER — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter has launched her first TV ad, highlighting her role in Vermont’s recovery from Tropical Storm Irene. Minter’s ad, titled “Count On,” points out her role as deputy secretary of the Agency of Transportation and later as the Irene Recovery Officer, appointed by Gov. Peter Shumlin. “Vermont’s worst disaster in a century. Destruction for miles. As Irene Recovery Office, Sue Minter helped lead the rebuilding with hundreds of miles or road repaired and thousands of homes restored,” a narrator says. Continue Reading →

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Rebuilt Waterbury office complex officially opened

WATERBURY — Gov. Peter Shumlin and other officials formally opened the rebuilt Waterbury State Office Complex that was destroyed more than four years ago by the floodwaters of Tropical Storm Irene. It was late August 2011 when the Winooski River spilled over its banks and devastated the town of Waterbury, including the state office complex. Work began in August 2013 to revamp the complex. On Monday, Shumlin and Congressman Peter Welch joined state and local officials to cut the ribbon on the new building. “All I can say is, we’ve come a long way, baby,” Shumlin said. Continue Reading →

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Commentary: Four Years After Irene, Renewal In Waterbury

his past August, we marked the four year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene. Memories of communities besieged by flood waters, houses knocked from their foundations and families forever changed are still fresh for each of us, and for so many other Vermonters. But just as Vermont rebuilt from the historic 1927 floods, Vermonters have pulled together to build back stronger, smarter and better after Irene. This has required new and creative thinking, and significant collaboration between communities, the State of Vermont and the federal government. Nowhere in Vermont is that story better told than in Waterbury. Continue Reading →

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Middlesex couple resists state psychiatric home

MIDDLESEX — State officials trying to resolve the psychiatric patient housing shortage have come into conflict with a Middlesex couple seeking to protect their children and avoid depreciation of their property. The state is seeking to construct a seven-bed secure residential facility near a State Police barracks and state archives and records offices on Route 2, but a neighboring couple has turned to the state’s environmental court to intervene. The state has gone so far as to consider buying the couple’s property in order to move the project forward, but legislators rejected the proposal. The state believes it will prevail, but the court could take months to resolve the issue. The state is trying to expedite the matter, citing the emergency need of housing for patients after Tropical Storm Irene flooded the Vermont State Hospital. Continue Reading →

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Long-term disaster recovery funds move forward, but some projects rejected

State officials and the Vermont Community Development Board, which have more than $21 million in federal money to distribute, recommended approval of four projects across the state Wednesday and denied two Waterbury projects. The unsuccessful projects included a plan to study reusing the flood-damaged heating plant at the Waterbury state office complex, which board member Sarah Carpenter questioned due to the delayed rebuilding there, and a local development corporation the town has been seeking to create. A $100,000 grant to study options for building a new municipal complex in Waterbury and to help with pre-building site work was recommended for approval, though. Another $100,000 grant to study rebuilding or renovating options that could affect three Brattleboro Housing Authority sites that involve elderly tenants or tenants with disabilities. One housing site there, Melrose Terrace, is located in a severe flooding area that normally wouldn’t be eligible for rebuilding funds, but the federal government has given a special exemption. Continue Reading →

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