(From New England Youth Theatre)
Many of us witnessed the dramatic effects of hurricane Irene on Sunday. The Whetstone Brook gushed over its banks in a frightening way, engulfing Flat St. in downtown Brattleboro.
New England Youth Theatre was enveloped in the floodwaters, but had many protective measures in place, including two-foot high flood gates at every exit.
Inspectors from the Brattleboro Fire Department, State of Vermont, AL Tyler & Sons, and a structural engineer have all done a brief assessment of the damage to the building.
“They seemed surprised that we fared so well,” said Rick Barron, Technical Director at NEYT. “There was not a lot of water damage inside, but we were very prepared. We had our floodgates up, and they’re what saved us, undoubtedly.”
The parking lot, recreational field, and tent area on the NEYT property were covered in mud, silt, and debris deposited by the brook. Dave Manning Paving came on Wednesday to clear the fire lane and handicap parking spaces, put down new dirt, and clear the dried mud from the parking lot.
Volunteers will be needed to help finish cleaning the yard. There will be a work party on Saturday 9/3 at 9am. Vermont Country Deli will provide snacks. Please bring flat edge shovels, wheelbarrows, work gloves, sturdy shoes, etc.
All classes and rehearsals will begin on schedule – rehearsals starting on September 6th and classes on September 12th. NEYT would like to encourage students and families to continue registering for fall classes and to audition for upcoming shows. For more information on classes and auditions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The concert scheduled for this weekend – Tony Barrand & John Roberts will go on at 7:30pm on Saturday.
The theatre has a page on the website that contains information about the impacts of the flood, any changes in locations of classes or rehearsals, and how the community can help “dig out!” The web address is www.neyt.org.
New England Youth Theatre has been posting brief updates and information on their Facebook page.
“Our hearts go out to all the individuals and local businesses affected by this disaster,” said Managing Director, Michelle Meima. “We will do what we can to support our neighbors, families, and community as we recover from Irene.”