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A Year After the Deluge: Vermont Red Cross Heroes Recall Trials and Triumphs

Vermonters reflect on the devastating 2023 floods. Red Cross volunteers who were their neighbors – not just helpers – share their experiences from a year on.

One year ago, Vermont was left reeling from the wrath of the Great Vermont Flood. Raging waters tore through communities, leaving a path of destruction and displacement. But amidst the chaos, heroes emerged – not just from afar, but from within the very communities affected. Today, we revisit Vermont through the eyes of the Red Cross volunteers who were not just there to help, but were also Vermonters themselves.

Mary Morris, a Red Cross volunteer from Essex Junction, remembers the gut-wrenching moment she saw her hometown ravaged by the floods. “It was surreal,” she says. “Everywhere I looked, there were firefighters, road crews, and police. But what struck me most was seeing my neighbors – the people I knew – cleaning up the wreckage. It was a community in crisis, but also a community coming together.”

Morris’ experience reflects the unique position many Red Cross volunteers found themselves in during the disaster. They weren’t just disaster relief workers – they were friends, family members, and long-time residents witnessing the devastation firsthand. This personal connection fueled their dedication and allowed them to connect with those affected on a deeper level.

Another volunteer, David Thompson from Montpelier, recounted the countless acts of kindness that emerged from the tragedy. “People opened their homes to those who lost theirs, shared whatever food they had left, and worked tirelessly to clear debris. It was a testament to the true spirit of Vermont – a spirit of resilience and compassion.”

The Red Cross played a vital role in coordinating relief efforts, providing shelter, food, and emotional support to those impacted. But the heart of the recovery came from the Vermonters themselves. These Red Cross volunteers, along with countless others, became the backbone of the rebuilding process.

A year later, Vermont is still healing, but the scars left by the floods are slowly fading. However, the memories of the community’s resilience and the unwavering support of the Red Cross volunteers will serve as a lasting testament to the strength and spirit of Vermont.

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