Revisiting Weather Disasters In Western New England

By WGBH News

Dec. 10, 2011

monson tornado

June's tornado caused heavy damage in Monson, Mass., among other towns. (Daren Winkel/WGBY)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The headlines have faded, but western New England continues to rebuild after June tornadoes and Tropical Storm Irene. Our partners at WGBY in Springfield, Mass. have been covering it all along. In these three segments, residents, business owners, emergency responders and members of the media tell their stories of the storms and their aftermath.  

Flooding in Shelburne Falls, Mass.

Storm Flooding (pt 1) from WGBY on Vimeo.

Voices from the story:

Pub owner: "I got out of the building quick and went across the street and watched the river rise for the rest of the day."

Quiltmaker: "My studio floated down the river."

Gallerist/framer: "The FEMA and Small Business Administration require mounds of paperwork. They are very kind, open-hearted individuals. But bottom line is that it's a bureaucracy."

Small manufacturing president: "Our desire is to be in business. We want to keep the families of our employees happy and healthy."

Flooding in Brattleboro and Jamaica, Vt.

Storm Flooding (pt 2) from WGBY on Vimeo.

Voices from the story:

Brattleboro, Vt. restaurant owner: “After five years of building up the restaurant, it happened in three or four hours… I was positive that we could get this work out and clean up and start again. We can. But it’s going to be a long uphill battle.”
Jamaica, Vt. resident: “I probably did about 60 miles of hiking just to see where people’s houses were.”
Jamaica, Vt. emergency worker: “A lot of local excavating contractors came in and filled where we’re standing now, which was a 30-foot-deep hole.”

Remembering June's Tornado

Remembering June's Tornado from WGBY on Vimeo.

Voices from the story:

Meteorologist: “Really unheard-of. This is really a moment of history that deserves all of the historic treatment that it gets.”
The Republican executive editor: “We got over 3 million page views.”
News photographer: “Oftentimes when we cover disasters or murders or accidents, we’re not welcome. People don’t want to see cameras intruding on their lives. This was a different story…. People welcomed us with open arms. They wanted to tell their stories.”

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