On August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene hit Vermont with unprecedented fury. Around the state, some 3,500 homes suffered damage, and more than 1400 households were displaced either temporarily or permanently.
Waterbury, population 5,000, took one of the hardest blows of any town in Vermont. Entire neighborhoods were inundated, and two mobile homes parks were completely destroyed. All told, 222 homes and businesses in and around town were seriously damaged.
When the River Rose tells the inspiring story of how Waterbury confronted disaster and found hope amid the ruins. The stories included in this collection are emblematic of the strength, resilience and generosity that Vermonters have shown in response to this calamity. At times poignant, funny, and uplifting, the people of Waterbury tell in their own words how neighbors helped neighbors to recover — together.
The book is edited by David Goodman, a journalist whose flood stories have appeared in the Boston Globe, Yankee and the Waterbury Record. David is the author of eight books, including three New York Times bestsellers. Photos of the storm and its aftermath are by Gordon Miller, a freelance photographer whose clients include Ben & Jerry’s, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Trinity College and the University of Vermont. His images appear weekly in the Waterbury Record. The book was designed by Peter Holm of Sterling Hill Productions.
All proceeds from the sale of When the River Rose benefit ReBuild Waterbury, a local program whose mission is to help individuals and families in the Waterbury area who are in need of assistance to rebuild their homes from the disaster-caused effects of Tropical Storm Irene.
When the River Rose was published by the Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF), non-profit based in Waterbury Center. CLiF has supported and inspired more than 125,000 low-income, at-risk, and rural young readers and writers across Vermont and New Hampshire since its founding in 1998.