Vermont fish hatchery finishing up final repairs after Tropical Storm Irene

When Tropical Storm Irene slammed the East Coast in August 2011, many businesses were brought face-to-face with Mother Nature's wrath. For the national fish hatchery in Bethel, Vermont, the road to recovery has been a long one and the journey is just now finally ending.

According to the Associated Press, the White River overflowed from excessive rains during Irene. Communities and major roadways were flooded. The fish hatchery had extreme damages, with floodwaters sweeping into some of the hatchery's outdoor holding tanks. Thousands of hatchery-raised Atlantic salmon and other fish were flushed into the river.

However, the layout of the hatchery has been changed in a way that experts hope will make it less prone to damage from future flooding.

Wade Jodun, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's operations manager for the Northeast, told the AP that the flood caused over $5 million in damages and could have taken up to five years to fully repair and get it back to normal operations.

"The Fish and Wildlife Service found almost $3 million to help pay for the repairs, and repairing what was needed to get the fish operations moving again was made a priority over damage to roads, fences and other infrastructure," the article said.

Jodun added that the Bethel hatchery should be able to get back to about 75 or 80 percent of its capacity this year but will not return to 100 percent capacity until 2014.

Ken Gillette, hatchery manager, said that while the goal is to get everything running again, officials want to ensure that it's done properly the first time.

While the hatchery was fortunate to receive donations to return it to operational status, other businesses cannot always rely on such instances. Working with commercial insurance specialists can help organizations find a comprehensive policy that is ideal for their day-to-day operations. Not having commercial property insurance could make repairs excessively expensive.




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