Governor Peter Shumlin commemorates the two-year anniversary of devastating flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene with a visit and tour of the new Taftsville Bridge tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday). That tour will be followed by a 3 pm “stop-in-to-say hello” at the Taftsville Store. There, he will present a proclamation honoring country stores.
“The Guv” will then be moving down Route 4 for a 4 pm visit to the First Stop Ski Shop at the intersection of Route 4 and Route 100 where flood waters destroyed buildings and essentially cut off the Killington community from the rest of Vermont. Many would rather not remember, but a few of the buildings still askew there give us a grim reminder of the power of weather and water.
And, mark your calendars now…for us, a week from this Saturday (on September 7th) local groups and officials are planning a big Taftsville Bridge Re-Opening event to which everyone is invited. We got this announcement from our friends at the Woodstock Historical Society:
The Grand Re-Opening Celebration Ceremonies for the Taftsville Bridge begin at 11:00am on Saturday, September 7th, followed by music, food, etc. from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm.
As you know, the Taftsville Bridge was completely de-stabilized at its supports by the rushing waters, debris, oil and propane tanks that coursed through during flooding of the Ottauquechee river August 28, 2011 as the remnants of Hurricane Irene (by then “Tropical Storm” Irene) literally sat over Vermont for a 24 hour period.
In order to protect the bridge, so it would not suffer further structural damage, the bridge was partially taken down and then put back piece by piece as its supports were restored.
Now, it is back, almost ready, blazing red and an impressive presence as a testament to Vermonters love of their history and of their ability to rise again from disaster.
Obviously be cautious as you drive by and or walk around the area in the next few weeks. It can be a really bad spot if we start gawking at the bridge as we drive in the Route 4 area in front of the Taftsville Store.