Two years and $6.25 million in damage later, Tropical Storm Irene remains with residents of Northern Berkshire.
Maybe a nearby road is still closed. Tax bills for some have crept up. The least fortunate had their homes compromised or totally destroyed.
Wednesday’s anniversary afforded a time to reflect.
Local meteorologist John Hockridge named Irene as a "top five" event in the 40 years he’s kept records.
Total rainfall ranged between 4 and 9 inches in Northern Berkshire cities and towns.
"It surprised everybody, I think," Hockridge said Wednesday. "The amount of rain that fell in such a short period was very rare, and the damage it caused was nearly unprecedented."
Perhaps the most lasting impact took place in Williamstown’s Spruces Mobile Home Park, where 153 people lost their homes to flooding from the Hoosic River.
Williamstown Town Manager Peter Fohlin said in an email Wednesday, "For most people Irene was over in 24 hours. The stress and struggle of Spruces residents continues after 24 months."
As of Wednesday, 66 homes inside the park have been reoccupied. The town and a nonprofit formed after the storm continue efforts to relocate former park residents and others displaced by the storm elsewhere in town.
In other Northern Berkshire locations, the storm’s ravages presented challenges to residents, officials, first responders and highway crews.
All North County municipalities reported moderate to severe damage, and some would spend the better part of the next two years rebuilding. Adams was one of those.
"Multiple neighborhoods were impacted by storm damage and the town spent nearly 18 months overseeing an estimated $2 million plus worth of recovery projects," Town Administrator Jonathan Butler wrote in an email Wednesday.
Among the most costly and vexing among them: A culvert failure on heavily traveled East Road, which left a gaping hole where a large section of the road had been. The road reopened in early 2012.
Since Irene, Butler said the town has beefed up its infrastructure and improved on emergency response protocol he said he feels already rose to the occasion during the storm.
He said the storm raised consciousness in Town Hall. Adams and North Adams adopted CodeRED, a phone and computer emergency notification system for all residents, since Irene, and have found new opportunities to use it, particularly during Hurricane Sandy.
Savoy, which saw just over 9 inches of rain during Irene, the highest total rainfall of all the towns in North County, remains touched by the storm as well.
Black Brook Road, the route connecting the town to Florida to the north, has not yet reopened.
According to a 2009 Berkshire Regional Planning Commission study, the road saw traffic of more than 80 cars per day.
Select Board Chairman John Tynan had positive news to report about potential repairs to the road Wednesday. He said engineer’s designs for its rebuilding near completion, and the estimated $4 million project may receive full funding from outside the town.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency had earlier vowed to cover 75 percent of the repairs, but Tynan said the remaining 25 percent sneaked its way into Gov. Deval Patrick’s $19 billion transportation bond bill this year.
"[Residents] want it open and they’d like to see some action," Tynan said Wednesday. "So [The Board of Selectmen] talked [at a meeting Tuesday] night about really focusing on it. We feel we’ve got much more of an opportunity now."
Tynan said if the project isn’t ready for work to begin by fall, it will "definitely be ready by spring."
Other Northern Berkshire projects necessitated by the storm -- the rebuilding of East Road Bridge in Clarksburg, numerous projects in North Adams -- also ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
One thing reported by officials on Wednesday’s anniversary was consistent: Local first responders and highway crews rose to the occasion.
"To a person, they were heroic," Fohlin said.
All also hoped the performance could be duplicated if a storm of similar magnitude occurred.
"The overarching takeaway -- you need good people who are well-trained at every level," Fohlin added. "A ‘hundred-year’ event can occur any given day."