Irene arrived in the town a few months after Berlin had already been hit hard by a May storm.
“May was a practice run for Irene; it did help. We knew the storm was coming. Fire and police were ready, the highway crew was ready. During the May storm we learned a lot about how to help folks get the assistance they needed, working through state agencies and programs. We had a much better handle on things,” says Town Administrator Jeff Shultz.
Berlin was fortunate that it had contractors lined up to help the road crews get the town roads functioning within a week after the storm.
Between the two storms Berlin sustained about $1.3 million in damage to infrastructure and lost quite a number of structures. In the first storm, a mobile home park was destroyed. During Irene the majority of homes in another park were lost. One single family home qualified for the FEMA buyout, and the family that was displaced moved to another community. Another 10 homes that were significantly impacted have since been repaired.
Shultz says that, for the most part, all the work is done, and Berlin is back to where it should be.