Tropical Storm Irene was very selective in wreaking damage on communities in Vermont. Stories of Vermont Floods have been central news topics in all national news and the devastation shown through this media is truly tragic.
Stowe seemed to be an oasis as less than 15 miles to the south, our neighbors in Waterbury suffered significant damage to homes, public infrastructures, and businesses. All the while, Stowe appears to have survived the storm relatively unscathed.
In Waterbury, one of our favorite restaurants, The Alchemist, is reported to be a total loss and has closed indefinitely. We know how well liked this restaurant was so we know that they will return. It will just take time and unfortunately a lot of hard work on the part of the owners to bring this great restaurant back to this great community.
While The Alchemist has had to close, other favorite Waterbury restaurants of ours such as Hen of the Wood, have been fortunately spared any significant damage. We had dinner at Hen of the Wood last night and had a wonderful evening.
We want to help our neighbors in Waterbury. There are a couple of immediate things we can and will be doing:
1. Support those businesses that are still open. While it is tragic for the loss of business for those who were flooded out, there are other businesses, especially restaurants, that still want to pay their staff and serve wonderful dinners. If we stop patronizing those who remain open the devastation to the business community expands.
2. We will be donating 5% of our gross revenues for all room sales from Sept. 1 through Sept. 15 to the United Way managed Vermont Disaster Relief Fund, www.vermont211.org, and we encourage other business owners in Stowe to join us with similar offers and efforts.
We know how fortunate we are here in Stowe when we see and read the reports of such significant losses in areas as close to us as Waterbury. We wish we could do even more as we know our neighbors in Waterbury, Morrisville, Jeffersonville, Hardwick and others would do what they could for us if the situation was reversed. Our prayers and thoughts are with all of our Vermont Neighbors during this time of clean up and re-build.