Vermont Campgrounds Recovering 2 Years After Irene
Two years after flooding from Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont’s campgrounds are finishing a good season, with some of the areas damaged by the storm back in business and doing well but others that will never reopen.
Only a handful of the campgrounds suffered significant damage during Irene, but many lost business in the immediate aftermath of the Aug. 28, 2011, storm because potential customers believed much of Vermont was inaccessible, said Peter Daniels, executive director of the state Campground Association.
Now, two years after Irene, the campground industry is doing well, Daniels said.
"The season got off to a slow start. But they’ve had a real good season. Everybody was expecting to have a full house on Labor Day weekend," he said.
Some of the campgrounds hardest hit by Irene, which dumped up to 11 inches of rain on parts of the state, are located along the banks of Vermont’s rivers and streams, areas favored by campers looking for the idyllic outdoor experience but also most prone to flood damage.
The campground association is made up of about 70 campgrounds, including the Vermont State Parks. They total about 9,000 campsites.
Only a handful suffered significant damage, but at least two were forced out of business by the storm, Daniels said.
One post-Irene success story is Abel Mountain campground in Braintree, located on the bank of the third branch of the White River.
Karen Colby, who runs Abel Mountain with her husband, Paul Rae Colby, says their 132-site campground was destroyed by Irene. After months of hard work, they reopened in the summer of 2012. Now they’re finishing a good season.