Vermont’s Bowers covered bridge washed away by Irene

Flood waters from Tropical Storm Irene floated the Bowers covered bridge 100 yards down the Mill Brook in West Windsor, Vt. The bridge was heavily damaged but should be moved back to its original position. Photo by Loren Fisher (Loren Fisher)

Flood waters from Tropical Storm Irene floated the Bowers covered bridge 100 yards down the Mill Brook in West Windsor, Vt. The bridge was heavily damaged but should be moved back to its original position.

I have been photographing the covered bridges of Vermont for the last five years and been to all of them, most several times. I hope to have a book out next year featuring all the bridges. One of my favorites is Bowers, a little 48-feet-long bridge over the Mill Brook in West Windsor. The bridge sits down in a ravine with a gravel road heading up hills on both sides. A house up the hill on the south side has a large yard that leads down to the brook and they always have chairs sitting down by the water. I always imagine ending a hard day sitting the chairs, listening to the brook and enjoying the bridge.

Tropical storm Irene dumped a ton of water in the region and the brook washed away the abutment to the bridge. The bridge fell into the swollen brook and floated a little over 100 yards downstream to where the brook made a turn. The bridge whacked several trees and lodged against several trees. When the brook went down, the bridge settled onto the bank, still intact.

There is a lot of damage to the upper portion of the bridge but the trusses look pretty solid. The upper part of the covered bridges were meant to be replaced, so that isn’t a big deal, but getting it back to the site will be a chore.

I’ve read stories about bridges being swept away in the old days and the townspeople went right out and floated it back to where it belongs. I would have loved to see that, I hope I can be there when they get the big machinery to pick up Bowers and put it back.

See more photos of the Bowers Covered bridge damaged by tropical storm Irene.

Bowers covered bridge 100 survived a trip down the Mill Brook in West Windsor, Vt. Photo by Loren Fisher

 

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