A little over a year ago, Vermont was on the receiving end of a storm that made its way easily into the record books and was etched forever in the memories of those who lived through it. Tropical Storm Irene brought neighbors out to help less fortunate neighbors, whose homes, properties and businesses had the bad luck to be in the wrong place. Today, more than 14 months later, it's still possible to drive around parts of the state and see where Irene left her ugly scars.

It was a tribute not only to the pull-together spirit demonstrated across the state, but also to the help from National Guard units and emergency repair crews from other states, that Vermont got back on its feet relatively quickly.

Last week, a far more intense storm pounded the ocean front states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Elsewhere, other states up and down the Eastern seaboard, as well as miles inland, were affected. Power outages, floods, closed businesses, destroyed homes, ravaged neighborhoods - Hurricane Sandy had the whole package.

This time, fortunately, Vermont got off fairly lightly. Many thousands went without power, in some cases for the better part of a day or more, but by and large the all Sandy delivered was something more akin to a glancing blow. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of our neighbors south of here got badly hammered.

Now it's our turn to help out. Several area organizations are mounting drives to collect badly needed supplies for those, especially children and the elderly, who are more vulnerable to these kinds of disruptions. We hope that when all is said and done, the record will show that Vermont donated its fair share.

Many of our visitors to this part of Vermont come from the three states mentioned earlier that have been hit hard by the storm. Many of our part-time residents and second home owners also hail from the metro-New York area. Collectively, they contribute a great deal to make the Manchester and the Mountains region the interesting and dynamic place that it is. We have a chance to give something back. Let's not waste it.


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