AUGUST 26th, 2012
PITTSFIELD'S TOWN SHUT DOWN (PTSD)
On August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene washed away homes and bridges throughout our town and state, leaving many isolated and without power. The Town of Pittsfield was disconnected with bridges on the north and south end of the town washed away. Twice daily meetings not only served to update the community, but to bring together neighbors to help where needed.
Initial estimates on when power would be restored were anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Residents made the best out of it and brought their food for a potluck picnic on the Village Green. Out of tragedy, the town pulled together, but not without trauma.
Was it possible to put a positive spin on such tragedy? Instead of suffering from PTSD, at the year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene, Pittsfield celebrated PTSD- Pittsfield Town Shut Down- a picnic, this time by choice, on the Village Green.
The goal of this event was to recreate the good that came from our experience, reconnect with our neighbors to reflect on the positive accomplishments our town was responsible for when we came together as a community and became "Pittsfield Proud".
The event was held on the last Sunday in August 2012, kicked off at 12:30 PM in the church, with a ceremonious "Morning Meeting" much like those held daily post-Irene to keep the community informed. Potluck items and donated food were on hand, cooked on Jason Evan's "Irene grill" that was used at the original picnic. Donated cake and ice cream were served since had we drank melted ice cream from the store at the original picnic. Special guest speakers included Sue Minter (Irene Recovery Coordinator), Governor Shumlin, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch. A slide show of pictures taken and collected by Barb Wood, during Irene ran in the basement of the Town Office. The Treble Makers and the South Royalton Town Band performed. The Chittenden Fire Dept aka "Food Train" was presented a card of thanks from the town for all there help with supplies. Kids made tie dye shirts. Coach LaBella led field games for the kids. Marion Abram's movie "Flood Bound" premiered in the church at 6 pm. It was an incredibly emotional and beautiful day to give back to the community. All the money raised was presented to the Pittsfield Volunteer Fire Dept on August, 28, 2012.