LUDLOW, VT – This past Wednesday, October 18, marked exactly 100 days since Monday, July 10, the date this year’s historic flooding began across Vermont. In this edition of Your Hometown Stories, we’re checking in on one of the hardest hit communities in the state: The town of Ludlow.
Signs of damage and some closures still linger in Ludlow, but around town, there’s optimism that these are the last remnants of the flooding that devastated the community in July. People have been working around the clock the last 100 days to take care of every problem, ideally before winter comes.
“It’s been a long road, but we’re very much there,” said Tom Gianola, a business owner and Vice President of the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce, which is based in Ludlow. “I would say (we’re) in the high 90s in terms of percentage recovered.”
“Now what you’re seeing is the finishing of it,” said Gail Beardmore, the chamber’s President, talking about the flood recovery process. “It’s the detail now, because all that important stuff to get people places, they did it immediately.”
And with Ludlow’s popular Okemo Mountain Resort drawing in tourists and skiers every winter, getting the town back to normal by the first snow has been an important goal to meet.
“The town is working hard to get recovered, and we want to continue to hope that the restaurants that are closed will come back,” said Bruce Schmidt, Vice President and General Manager of Okemo Mountain Resort.
Schmidt says the resort had damage too, but they finished making repairs within the last month, and are ready to welcome visitors back in November.
“We put some new flooring in our base lodge, repaired some washouts and some road challenges,” Schmidt said. “We’re excited about the winter, want to encourage people to get their Epic Pass because the date’s going to end here soon!”
One more thing many people are talking about is the Shaw’s Supermarket, Ludlow’s biggest grocery store, which is still not fully reopened due to flood damage. However, they’ve found a unique way to continue providing food to the town: An online order pickup tent set up in the parking lot, fully stocked with fridges and freezers. Workers at the Shaw’s 15 miles away in Springfield are bringing food to Ludlow to accommodate everyone’s orders, and have been doing so for multiple months.
Town leaders say, best case scenario, they’re hoping to have Shaw’s fully reopened this November – perhaps just in time for Thanksgiving.