100-Year Flood

A City Gutted

  • Jul 24, 2023

On the morning of July 11, I stood in two feet of water, on the Skinny Pancake patio, which is about 3-4 feet above street level in our downtown, and captured images for VTDigger of the horrific flood that engulfed our little city.

Just a little over a week later, every single downtown business had been completely gutted, their contents piled high in the streets. And countless homes on streets stretching away from the downtown had also had belongings belched out onto the streets...

But now the rebuilding has begun. Hundreds of Montpelierites turned up to help clean out buildings of muck and debris. And now the town teems with cleaning services, trucks, and cranes. And soon the dry-walling, sanding, electrical and plumbing repairs, and eventually the re-opening will begin. But it will take time to get things to a new normal.

Not every business will return, but most will. Girded by local support as well as FEMA and state funds, to say nothing of the amazing generosity represented by the Montpelier Strong Fund, our city's merchants and residents will be back stronger than before, renewed and ready for a busy fall and winter.

Because that's just how Vermonters do it.