Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vermonters keeps an eye on rising water

From Burlington Free Press
JEFFERSONVILLE — Megan Dorsey looked out her window at Jeffersonville Family Housing at 7 a.m. Wednesday and watched as the parking area in front of her apartment turned into a lake.

“At, like, 7 there was no water. Then at 7:30 it was up to the speed bump, and within 10 minutes it was getting in up to the doors,” she said. “It came in fast; it came in really fast.”
She grabbed some clothing and left.

Dorsey and many other northern Vermont residents hoped forecasts for more rain today would be wrong as they grappled Wednesday with flooding that forced people from their homes, filled basements and turned Jeffersonville’s Main Street into a pond.

Kayakers and canoeists paddled down the street in Jeffersonville, population 729. Volunteer firefighters filled sand bags, roads were blocked, schools were closed, power was out, and neighbors stepped in to move horses and livestock to higher ground, pump out basements and help the displaced find shelter.

The flood response in the small Lamoille County town was replicated in other Vermont communities as the Lamoille, Missisquoi and other rivers surged over their banks in the wake of a drenching rain storm.

Water lapped up to the doorways of the Jeffersonville Family Housing and Senior Housing complex, the power was turned off, and about a dozen residents were evacuated. Dorsey’s neighbor, Erin Guyette, also was forced to rush out with a few outfits for herself and her son, along with her laptop computer and her cat. The women were planning to stay with other evacuated residents in temporary lodging that was offered to residents by the Smugglers’ Notch resort.

“At least we have a place to stay,” Guyette said. “We’re very grateful.”

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