Tag Archives: Hurricane

Update on Long Trail and Alchemist Breweries

31 Aug

As my previous post mentioned, Vermont breweries were hit hard during the flooding in the aftermath of Irene. Here’s an update from some of the most affected breweries.

1. Long Trail Brewing: Initial photos from Long Trail looked pretty dire. This was a photo posted to their Facebook page shortly after the flooding.

Though the flood waters surrounded the brewery, apparently very little water actually got inside to the equipment. Employees returned to work and began cleaning up the site the next day. This is the view two days after the first picture was taken.

The brewery’s Facebook page described the parking lot as a “sight for sore eyes” but employees worked to clean it up and visitor center opened to the public on Tuesday. Another bit of good news: the deck, which is quite close to the water, remained intact and secured to the rest of the complex.

Even more impressive: the brewery held an open breakfast for members of the community on August 31 and has been helping with relief efforts to the stranded communities of Stockbridge and Rochester. Job well done, Long Trail. You guys are truly amazing.

The company also posted videos of their equipment hard at work on Facebook. The brewery is back open for business!

2. The Alchemist Pub & Brewery: On Sunday evening, August 28, a devastating “once in a generation flood” swept through Waterbury, VT and “ruined” The Alchemist Pub. The pub announced the tragic news on Twitter:

As more information has become available, the situation has not improved for the pub. In an update published to the pub’s site, the extent of the devastation is apparent.

 At one point in the middle of the night, pretty much half the town was under around 10′ of raging, muddy water, with the river officially cresting at 20′.  Not only was the basement completely full, but the dining room and kitchen were also about hip deep.

Even worse, more than 100 homes in the Waterbury area have been partially or completely devastated. Here’s one view of the damage to the building itself.

One bit of good news from this. The Alchemist’s cannery will open as planned on Friday, September 2. Please support them if you’re able.

When I was a student at Middlebury, I completed the Vermont Brewery Passport. Though everyone at all of the breweries was kind and enthusiastic, the people at the Alchemist were truly remarkable. Unbelievably kind, welcoming and warm. Plus, they made delicious, delicious beer. I want nothing more than to see them get back on their feet. This is the type of local business we should all want to support.

Thankfully, that seems to be exactly what they’re doing. They plan to rebuild and come back stronger. Can’t wait.

3. Flat Street Brew Pub: Sadly, this Brattleboro establishment seems to have been devastated in the flooding. According to a message on their Facebook page, “the damage is devastating. We are not sure after today’s damage assessment, when we might be able to reopen.”

According to an article in the Brattleboro Reformer, “water smashed furniture to pieces and deposited slimy mud on the floor.” That same article quoted a manager saying he was concerned about the pub’s ability to reopen.

Truly heartbreaking to hear. I wish them all the best and hope they’re able to get back on their feet.

Videos of “Catastrophic” Flooding in Vermont

29 Aug

As someone who had the privilege to attend school in Middlebury, Vermont for four years, I have been deeply saddened and horrified to see the videos coming out of the state today. There have already been 39 confirmed deaths from Hurricane Irene and more than 5.5 million people lost power from North Carolina to Maine. Nowhere has the damage been worse than Vermont though.

There are currently 15 towns in Vermont and New York that have been cut off by the flooding. Damages from the storm could top $7 billion and Vermont officials seriously considered flooding the capital, Montpelier, to save a nearby dam. Officials confirmed that two people died in the waters.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin appeared on Democracy Now! to talk about the unprecedented nature of the storm in Vermont. He said “we are still under siege” from the storm and called the flooding “catastrophic.”

This is the second major disaster as a result of storms. We had storms this spring that flooded our downtowns and put us through many of the same exercises that we’re going through right now. We didn’t used to get weather patterns like this in Vermont. The point is, we in the colder states are going to see the results of climate change first.

Here are some of the most shocking videos posted online. This video shows the normally calm and tranquil little stream in Brattleboro, Vermont turned into a torrent of water. I was there just a couple of months ago.

This video shows a bridge in Rockingham, Vermont being swept away by the water. The covered bridge dated back to 1870.

This video shows the amount of flooding in Grafton. Bridges are being washed out and the town remains out of contact from the rest of the world. According to the video, the rushing water is usually a “tranquil stream.”

Here an empty car is swept down the river in Bennington, Vermont.

This is the view in Chester, Vermont.

This video shows the devastation at the Grafton Cheese Company. Thankfully, the company reports everyone is safe and the cows are okay.

Devastating news from the breweries in the state as well. A photo of Long Trail Brewery completely underwater was posted, though apparently the situation is not completely dire.

The same cannot be said for The Alchemist Pub & Brewery, which was destroyed in the flooding in Waterbury. Having been to The Alchemist, they are truly wonderful people who make amazing beer. I hope this closing is only temporary.

The Flat Street Brew Pub in Brattleboro also appeared to be completely flooded yesterday. No word on the scale of damage. Our thoughts are with Vermont in this difficult time. Consider a donation to the Red Cross.

Tucker Barnes Gives Grossest Hurricane Irene Weather Report

28 Aug

Poor Tucker Barnes. The WTTG reporter was on Hurricane Irene watch yesterday evening and was forced to give a live report as he was being covered with a mysterious, gross-looking foam.

Apparently this foam stuff is “highly unusual,” consists of some “organic matter” and “doesn’t taste great.” Yuck! Hope he didn’t consume too much of it.

What is this stuff? Well, apparently it likely comes from raw sewage that seeped into the water during the hurricane. It consists of toxic mix of pollution and cyanobacteria.

Barnes also added that the foam “doesn’t smell great.” He did several reports surrounded by the foam. Hopefully he gets a bonus for this gross reporting.