Today marks the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy coming ashore in New Jersey, slowly marching inland and leave a swath of destruction in its wake.
The storm swamped lower Manhattan with a 13-foot surge of seawater; It devastated New Jersey coastal communities; When all was said and done, more than 8 million people were left without power. The storm and its aftermath would kill more than 100 people in the United States.
Luckily, the Green Mountain State was spared the brunt of this storm. Which is a good thing, as we were still embroiled in our own efforts to bounce back from the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene, little more than a year earlier.
Today, more than two years after Irene's floodwaters have receded, there's still evidence of the hard work going in to returning to the "status quo."
Last week, Newfane officials marked a milestone in the town's long, ongoing recovery from Tropical Storm Irene. Newfane's first buyout of a property severely damaged by Irene was completed Thursday as the town took title to 236 Dover Road.
Federally-funded buyouts still are in the works, but this was a significant development that came nearly 26 months after Irene's severe flooding devastated the town.
"We're making progress," Selectboard Chairman Jon Mack told the Reformer. "It's a slow process."
Newfane is one of many towns across Windham County which still bear the scars from Irene and continues to repair infrastructure washed away in the Aug. 28, 2011 flood: A new Hunter Brook Bridge is nearly complete, and Lynch Bridge is due to be replaced next year. Jamaica is still in the midst of completing buyouts for homes on Water Street. Similar projects continue in and around the Deerfield Valley. Or, consider beloved local eatery, Dot's, in Wilmington, which is tentatively planning to reopen next month.
Our point being, just as our recovery, over a relatively small area of the country, is continuing to this day, so will our neighbors to the south and on the East Coast continue to deal with the aftereffects for years to come.
The silver lining to living through such challenges is to see humanity at its best, as neighbors help neighbors, and communities pull together in the unlikeliest of ways to do good. It is those moments the best of who we are is on display.