Hurricane Irene remembered in Franklin County five years later

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SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. (WWLP)- August 28th. 8:30 AM. Tropical Storm Irene ripped through Western Massachusetts.

Heavy rain and wind from the downgraded hurricane caused severe flooding in Franklin County. The tropical storm caused widespread flooding in Franklin County, including Shelburne Falls, catching many residents off guard.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Irene in Franklin County

“I lived in Florida for six years before it and never experienced a hurricane down there. Came up here, one month later and we got hit with a big one,” said Edwin Sause of Shelburne.

The raging Deerfield River overflowed, destroying homes and businesses along the riverbank. Many roads were closed, including Route 2. It took 3 weeks to re-open the bridge that separates Shelburne and Buckland. The National Guard worked in the recovery effort. Residents got involved as well.

“The community was amazing.People walked in from the street to help. Everybody worked together to get the community back together again,” said Ann Brauer, Owner of Ann Brauer Quilt Studio in Shelburne Falls. “There was such a great feeling of spirit.”

Brauer told 22News she lost all of her materials in the shop. Other businesses also had to change locations in order to reopen.

Brauer said she’s prepared for the next strong storm. Her new building is a foot taller and was raised another 8 inches. She also waterproofed most of the building.

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