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Shelburne Falls: Hurricane Sandy a Reminder of Irene

SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. (WGGB) — The possible path of Hurricane Sandy is eerily reminiscent of Hurricane Irene’s. Just over a year ago, its flooding devastated towns along the Deerfield River including Shelburne Falls. The mood of most people we spoke to about the chance of Hurricane Sandy hitting wasn’t one of panic.

“Not nervous about it yet,” said Sherri Moffett of Buckland, just across the river from Shelburne Falls. “When it gets closer, I’m sure I’ll start to get more nervous.”

“Not sure about the track yet,” said Arnold Jones of Shelburne Falls. “I mean they say it’s going to hit between New York and the New England coast possibly. But its still a long ways off. We’ll wait and see. Deal it when we it gets her.”

For Ann Brauer, though, she can’t help but already be worried. It’s hard to forget the video of Ann Brauer’s Quilt Studio floating down the Deerfield River during Irene. The water came up so high, it lifted the building off it’s foundation. The only things that kept it from going over the fall were a couple of maple trees. That gave Brauer’s husband a chance to get inside to see what could be salvaged.

“He saved my sewing machine,” said Brauer. “Even more important than my sewing machine, I had two quilts by my grandmother which had been my inspiration for making quilts. I had them tucked up high in plastic in the building. The water went up and down. And did not touch the two quilts.”

Having relocated to a new location just across the bridge, Brauer knows she could start over again if she had. But she hopes she never has to.

“I’m always concerned about the weather,” said Brauer. “I’m always trying to figure out what can I, you know, do to better prepare myself. And, obviously if Sandy looks like it’s going to become a threat, I’m going to a quilt show next week, I’m going to pack up early.”