Photo credit: bloomberg.com
With record flooding and damage hitting Vermont, Killington took the brunt of Hurricane Irene receiving the most impacts of any other U.S. ski resort. As we reported one of their base lodges collapsed, but other ski resorts in Vermont, New York, and the greater Northeast were greatly damaged, and are still recovering as well.
Access bridges to eastern ski resort Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, and Sugarloaf in Maine were also badly damaged from Hurricane Irene. Repair work is ongoing.
Rick Kelley, the GM and president of Loon shared, “The good news is that we are open and work has already begun to repair the bridge. We were very fortunate that we did not sustain any further major damage, as did several other resorts and many other areas in New England.”
Summer activities at Loon will continue and there will be no impact on their winter operations. A temporary pedestrian bridge will be installed by mid-September, and a temporary two-lane bridge to accommodate vehicles will be installed soon thereafter.
New Hampshire’s Mad River flooded and washed out several portions of N.H. State Route 49, which leads to Waterville Valley ski resort. One-lane access is scheduled to be restored by Sept. 15. Until then local road access off the main highway is the only way to access the Waterville Valley Village.
Summer activities are also set to continue for Waterville Valley, however the Nor’easter Mountain Coaster at Attitash Mountain, another local New Hampshire ski area is having bigger issues. Many summer activities at Attitash will be able to continue, but the Mountain Coaster is not expected to be operable for several weeks.
Here’s some coverage on the access bridge to Loon collapsing:
Close to 9 inches of rain fell in Carrabassett Valley Maine during the storm. Access to Sugarloaf ski resort has been impacted from the north and south. Crews are working on it, and detours are now in place to access the ski resort. Summer activities are still in place and scheduled to continue.
In Vermont, where Hurricane Irene dropping its most profound impacts, access to Killington has been somewhat restored. The National Guard had to bring in helicopters to airdrop food and other supplies for the towns of Killington, Mendon and Pittsfield that were stranded due to the storm. Temporary housing is being offered at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel for local residents in Killington, Pittsfield, Bridgewater and Mendon. Many residents have been hit hard. Some have lost their home, or their home was deemed uninhabitable due to damage from the storm. Beyond the base lodge damage Killington received, the Superstar Pub also collapsed from flood waters and is being worked on.
Vermont’s Okemo Mountain is dealing with the removal of up to four feet of mud and silt that buried and damaged the resort’s conveyor lift. Okemo also is dealing with parking lot damage, a damaged sewer line, as well as several other infrastructure issues. The primary access road to Okemo is still impassible, but will hopefully be restored soon.
Another region hit hard by the storm is in the towns and ski resorts in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of southeastern New York State. The historic flooding caused immeasurable damage to the region much like it did in Vermont.
Windham Mountain’s base lodge didn’t necessarily collapse, but the flooding wreaked much havoc on the resort, which needs ample time and resources for repairs. While lift infrastructure was not seriously compromised, the resort’s Tubing Park pump house, which pumps water to Windham Mountain’s snowmaking reservoir, was badly damaged.
Windham officials continue to plan for a Thanksgiving opening, and were quoted as saying, “While the damage to the resort is serious, recovery efforts are already underway and progress is being made.” “As a major economic engine for the area, we feel it is our responsibility to reopen as planned to support other area businesses. We appreciate your concern and support as we move toward a full recovery.”
A few of Hunter Mountain’s employees, also in the New York state area, lost their homes in the flooding. Although the ski resort didn’t face as many horrible impacts, they still have several issues to deal with. It was the surrounding towns and residents homes in the area that were more seriously impacted by the flooding. Many homes and businesses have completely vanished, were swept away, or collapsed due to the flooding. Many of the remaining buildings have been condemned.
Here’s a clip of some of the flooding damage in New York state:
Back to Vermont, the cleanup from Irene will continue for a long time, especially in the Killington area. Most events and reservations have been forced to be cancelled through much of September due to the storms impact in Killington.
Some good news is that access to the area has been restored along U.S. Route 4. However, damaged roads are still impassable to the north, south and west of the resort. The National Guard continues to drop supplies to the impacted communities in the region.
Killington plans to accept reservations again by September 23rd. Jeff Temple, Killington’s director of mountain operations said, “Mountain biking is closed for the season so we can maximize our efforts cleaning and restoring mountain facilities and infrastructure for the winter season.” “In addition, we are working on a number of summer capital improvement projects that we need to complete.”
Sarah Thorson is a Killington spokesperson. She shared, “We plan to reopen the Killington Golf Course, K-1 Lodge, hiking and K-1 Express Gondola as soon as possible.” “The Pico Mountain Adventure Center, Pico Disc Golf and Pico Mountain Stables are closed for the season as well as the Mountain Bike Park and Shop.” “Our intention is to kick off the foliage season with the annual Killington Brewfest, Oct. 1 featuring over 75 craft beers on tap and we plan to open on schedule for the 2011-12 winter season.”
The Unofficial family continues to send its most sincere thoughts for recovery to all those impacted by Hurricane Irene.