(12/8/11) – The village center of Moretown sits along the usually friendly Mad River. But Tropical Storm Irene swelled it to a torrent, taking houses and bridges in its wake.

Just prior to Irene, this e-Vermont community was slowly building interest in its new town wide Front Porch Forum. Suddenly, it exploded with activity. In a few long days, Moretown residents and public officials shared 300 disaster-related postings among neighbors on FPF. Typically it would take five months to generate that many postings there. Also, even without consistent power or Internet availability in many places, the FPF member count increased by 50%. Indeed, FPF proved so valuable to residents that it was printed each day and posted at Town Hall for those who did not have online access.

In addition to 5-10 daily updates from public officials on FPF, neighbors rallied to help each other directly. Here’s one result shared by a Moretown FPF member…

“We’ve lost half a house but we’ve gained a community. I’ve never experienced being carried through a devastating event by large numbers of friends, neighbors, and complete strangers before. Thank you Moretown and out-of-town volunteers for your heart-breaking generosity.”