Emergency Engineering Services following Flood Damage Caused by Tropical Storm Irene
Weston & Sampson provided the Town of Cavendish with emergency engineering services following the catastrophic damage caused by river and stream flooding from Tropical Storm Irene. Many of the town’s 44 bridges and culverts were unsafe and could not be used, and major roads were all or partially destroyed by the flood waters, leaving the town a virtual island. In addition, the town’s water and sewer systems at the largest of these washouts were severed, causing the water system to fail, water storage tanks to drain, and raw sewage to flow into rivers and streams.
The morning after the storm, Cavendish town officials contacted Weston & Sampson, and by midafternoon, civil, structural, and geotechnical staff from our Vermont and Connecticut offices responded. They began assessing damage immediately, as water and food were being flown into the town by the Vermont Air Guard.
The following evening Weston & Sampson presented preliminary findings to the Board of Selectmen, including:
- Recommendations for bridge use and bridge closure
- Bridge repair recommendations including prioritizations and sequencing
- Temporary water system repairs to restore emergency service and fill the tanks
- Temporary by-pass sewage pumping recommendations
Subsequently, Weston & Sampson provided emergency design services for permanent sewer and water line repairs needed to re-open State Route 131. Our designs were developed to be implemented as the roadway was restored by VTrans and the National Guard. Weston & Sampson also developed a specialized documentation method to identify and summarize the conditions of the 44 water crossings that were inspected, and to recommend and prioritize repairs. This documentation method was developed to help Cavendish track improvements and costs, which would ultimately facilitate assistance by FEMA.