Wednesday, August 1, 2012

VPT Marks Irene Anniversary With 'Impact Irene'

To mark the one-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont Public Television has scheduled broadcast programs and online content throughout August.

In a scene from "Flood Bound," rescuers help a man and his dog escape before fast-rising waters destroy his home in Pittsfield, Vt. Courtesy Barb Wood.

"Flood Bound," a film by independent filmmaker and Pittsfield, Vt., resident Marion Abrams will premiere Thursday, August 16, at 8 p.m. on VPT.  Cut off from the outside world when Irene struck, destroying homes and cutting off the roads to the north and south, neighbors in the small town came together.  They rescued one another, then they found ways to share resources and cope with the aftermath.

Photos and video of the destruction and recovery in Pittsfield are interwoven with moving interviews of residents, as they tell their stories.  Abrams said, "A community that was always self reliant, strong, ingenious and generous proved itself, like so many other Vermont towns, to be even more so when faced with challenge."  "Flood Bound" will also air August 20 at 7 p.m. and August 25 at 4 p.m.

On August 13 at 7:30 p.m., "'27 Flood" looks at Vermont's Great Flood of 1927 through VPT's archival footage and interviews, and the TV premiere of a new 13-minute animated short called "Mad River Rising." Based on the play by Dana Yeaton, it was produced by Middlebury College alumni and students. It features original music by Anais Mitchell. The program will also air August 23 at 10 p.m., August 24 at 10:30 p.m. and August 25 at 11:30 p.m.

VPT had Director Daniel Houghton and Writer Dana Yeaton in the studio to record an exclusive editor's commentary voice over for the short, which will only be available on the Vermont Public Television YouTube channel come August 28.

On August 23 at 8 p.m., "Impact Irene, A Public Square Special" offers updates on recovery efforts, fundraising and more.  Wilmington, Pittsfield and Rochester, Vt., will be highlighted.  Viewers will be invited to join in with their questions in this live program.   Stewart Ledbetter  hosts.

Recalling one of the outstanding benefit events that followed the storm, VPT will re-broadcast "Grace Potter & the Nocturnals: Goodnight Irene" on August 24 at 9 p.m. and again August 25 at 10 p.m.  The band performed a sold-out concert last October at Burlington's Flynn Center.

In mid August, Vermont Newsguy Jon Margolis will file a new report about Irene at vpt.org.

As Vermonters know, there is still much to be done to help the state recover from Irene.  Running throughout the month on air and at vpt.org, a "VPT & You" spot features Sue Minter, Vermont's Irene Recovery Officer, pointing out the need for skilled volunteers to help Vermonters rebuild their homes damaged by the storm and for contributions to the recovery fund.

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