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Middlebury College responds to Hurricane Irene

September 2, 2011

To the Middlebury Community:

As you know, Hurricane Irene had a devastating impact on Vermont as large areas of the state were ravaged by floods and several people lost their lives in the storm. Addison County was very fortunate compared to the southern and eastern parts of the state, which were hit hardest.

The College is determined to do whatever it can to help, both in our local community and across the state and the region. We know that some of our colleagues have been coping with serious problems in the aftermath of the storm, and we are in the process of identifying who has been affected and how best to provide assistance. Staff members in need of support should contact Human Resources and faculty should follow up with the Provost’s Office if they need help.

Traveling to Middlebury?

Many roads in Vermont were damaged during the storm. While most are now passable, it's worth consulting these websites as you plan your travel to and from Vermont.

The College has also contacted relief and service organizations across the state to offer our assistance. At this point, we have been asked to stand by so that these organizations can first engage pressing life and safety issues.  We will continue to offer our help to these agencies as the situation evolves.

Tiffany Sargent, the director of Civic Engagement, is in touch with the Addison County United Way, and has been working to include hurricane relief as part of the United Way’s annual “Days of Caring,” a volunteer event coming up later this month. Once we have more details, Tiffany and her colleagues at the Center for Education in Action (EIA) will let the College community know about these volunteer opportunities. EIA has also created a Web page with links for those interested in donating supplies, money, time, etc., to storm relief operations such as the Vermont chapter of the Red Cross and the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund. EIA staff members will add to the list as they receive more information from relief agencies.

We are also encouraging faculty and staff to post news and announcements related to Hurricane Irene relief efforts at MiddPoints Weekly, and to consult the website for updates from colleagues.

Middlebury's football team helps fill and stack sandbags to protect downtown from the swollen Otter Creek.

One group of students from the College has already volunteered their time—the entire football team (75 students) was able to provide help on September 1 to a local business, Jackson’s on the River, by stacking sandbags in preparation for the cresting of the Otter Creek. Other teams, including volleyball, field hockey and cross country, also spent time doing storm clean-up work. See the Athletics website for more information.

Our thoughts are with the victims of the storm. We will provide updates as we learn more about how the College and its employees and students can help.


Ronald D. Liebowitz