Flooding and weather check in July 11, 2023 2:31 PM   Subscribe

It is flooding in Vermont, among other places. Are fellow MeFites in weather-battered regions in the US and elsewhere okay? Please check in and let us know, jessamyn and others. Thanks!
posted by Bella Donna to MetaFilter-Related at 2:31 PM (12 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Thanks for the thread! Crazy times indeed. I'm good, basement flooding which is unmentionable compared to what's going on around me. Where I live now was miraculously spared as we are in a valley in the spine of the Green Mountains but our mighty river, the Mad River, did real good. My hometown where I grew up was devastated for the 2nd time in just over a decade (Ludlow VT). Sucks. Friends' businesses and homes wrecked in Irene, and yet again.

I work in VT's Watershed Management (busy much?). I will say that there has been huge initiatives since Irene to improve stormwater infrastructure affecting wetlands, lakes and ponds, wastewater treatment and rivers and dams. That probably saved a lot of communities this time around. Support your local environmental regulations and funding for watershed improvements! It differs by region, but we're going to need it more and more.

The state of Vermont is like a widely spread out single community. If anyone in these parts is not feeling that way and needs any help, please reach out.
posted by kybix at 5:57 PM on July 11, 2023 [18 favorites]

(Forgive a post from a former Vermonter turned DC resident too many years ago)

My mom, who is aging in place in Springfield (where I grew up), says that Springfield is mostly okay (believable since the town was basically singularly built to withstand the regular floods of the mighty Black River, being a mill town and later a big industrial town, and most of the populace therefore lives up in the hills around the river, but downtown is still basically fine), but says that Chester is really bad (believable because it's basically old farmland and a small old Yankee downtown at the confluence of the Williams River and Williams Middle Branch).

It really sucks seeing Ludlow so battered. Ludlow was always my second home—I worked at the Grand Union, then the Shaw's, then Okemo while I was in high school and college, and lived in one of those rich lake houses during winter breaks in college thanks to a good friend who put me up when my mom temporarily and unsuccessfully moved to Phoenix at the time. Grew to love that town and had many friends in it that, thanks to time's inevitable march and me moving far away, I have lost touch with but still hold in my thoughts right now. (Also Black River High School apparently closed what the hell, they were our rivals in soccer, anyway)

Big love to the Vermont MetaFilter community and best wishes going forward.
posted by General Malaise at 6:16 PM on July 11, 2023 [11 favorites]

Chittenden County is holding up pretty well. Richmond/Jericho/Essex all have some severe flooding in places, but ultimately not as destructive infrastructure-wise as Irene was. Many farms are along river banks, so agriculture got hit very hard, including the Intervale farms in Burlington, adding additional stress to a season that was already devastated by a late frost.

I was glad to hear this morning that there have been no injuries or deaths reported... It's been a hell of a summer.
posted by papayaninja at 7:34 AM on July 12, 2023 [4 favorites]

I'm in Orange County and it's been really town-by-town here. Randolph (which did not do great in Irene, though better than surrounding towns) came out a LOT better than during Irene. The river stayed mostly put and there was some major-road flooding but we could get in and out of town by yesterday morning. Downtown area was okay and my house is damp in the basement which is just not notable really. Lot of people with flooded houses but not at all like other towns. Power out for a few hours, nothing major. This morning sounds like chainsaws.

I've got a friend in Hardwick who said all roads in/out are... out, so that will take some attention. Yesterday I felt like a lot of us who were okay spent time checking in, in ever widening circles (personal, town, social, &c), at how people were doing.

I'm on a mailing list for librarians (including the one from Ludlow, my word) and there is a real variability in what people are seeing. Montpelier library had six feet of water in the basement, a director who has been on the job for three weeks, and he's really putting a positive spin on it (hey it's only the book sale books, the historical building is going to be fine, ServPero is on the scene) and he's been a model for how I'm trying to be. There are some great Mutual Aid networks springing up, organizing on facebook and Google docs and I've been doing some work on those (adding nitter links to Twitter links so people can access emergency services content there, double checking shelter info).

The state of Vermont is like a widely spread out single community. If anyone in these parts is not feeling that way and needs any help, please reach out.

This is so very true. If I am near you and you are in trouble and could use a hand, please PM me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:19 AM on July 12, 2023 [23 favorites]

Looks like the United States Military Academy at West Point got a direct hit. Some roads leading to their campus got washed out. I think they had to postpone the R-Day for USMAPS students.

My friend is the rector at a church in Montpelier. The entire basement got flooded, with about an inch of water on the first floor. The organ wasn't damaged; a lot of yucky cleanup. There was concern that the Wrightsville Dam wouldn't hold (only about a foot left at the top), but it did and now the waters are receding. Lots of amazing pictures online of Montpelier and Ludlow.

My friend near Keene said that many low-lying houses got wiped out by Irene, so the damage there wasn't what it could have been.
posted by Melismata at 8:25 AM on July 12, 2023 [5 favorites]

From down in Rhode Island, I sincerely wish you all the best of luck: rising water is inexorable and can be really scary.

A youngster I know just graduated from college with an engineering degree. He got a job with a geotechnical company working on dams, and I figure he's got lifetime employment just taking care of the dams we already have in New England, to say nothing of building anything new.

It's sunny today but the forecast for the weekend is wet again. Here's hoping you all stay safe.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:01 AM on July 12, 2023 [7 favorites]

We are high up on a hill so, much like Jessamyn, all we had to deal with was a little water in the basement. Nothing a mop couldn't handle. Barely mentionable.

VERY glad we had our culvert updated last summer though! Sent a text to my excavator thanking him.

Our road got pretty beat up because we have that one neighbor with an undersized culvert so the water always jumps his driveway and erodes a bunch of the road downstream. He has a tractor so he repairs his driveway and lets the town clean up his mess. It's getting a bit tiresome. The town keeps threatening to dig up the easement to his driveway until he upgrades it, but much like the old Robin Williams bit about British policeman it's a bunch of "Stop! Or I will say stop again!"

Another neighbor with a tractor smoothed out a section of our road which allowed us to get down to the main road so we could try to go to doctor's appointments (eye doctor for turtle girl and hepatitis vaccine booster for both of us). I misread the New England 511 map though thinking that the markers were points where water was; however, if one clicked on one of the teeny tiny markers it mentioned a range (from X road to Y road) making me think I had a clear path to Bethel when I didn't. Took the scenic route (East Bethel to Randolph Center to get I-89) and made the appointments -- except my insurance card wasn't accepted because of changes to wife's work's plan (sigh), so that has to be rescheduled. So a trip that should have taken 10 mins each way ended up taking 45 mins each way. Again, shouldn't even mention it as it was only an inconvenience compared to what the community is enduring.

While I waited for her to finish her eye exam I checked out the roads to her work to see if she would need to take a detour the next day. It was better in South Royalton than I thought it would be. But I still grabbed her laptop so she could work from home in case the road was still bad. Glad I did because the Internet is down at her office and may not be back up for a week.

Thanks for the thread. Later this summer we should have a meetup!
posted by terrapin at 10:07 AM on July 12, 2023 [12 favorites]

Thanks for moving this thread. I’m in South Londonderry and we were hit badly. I live on the West River and I have stranded neighbors. It’s really scary and a few of us were not evacuated and I was on my second floor for quite a few hours.

I did a TikTok and Fox News got a hold of me and I did an interview with them. I must have been in shock as I did not seize my opportunity to get out a rainbow flag or even yell fuck Trump. By the way if you ever wanna be told that you’re an idiot by hundreds of keyboard warriors,do a viral video.

The West River receded yesterday after it was on my front steps. I have flooded everything but am safe and am about to help give food to some families at my local school.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 10:37 AM on July 12, 2023 [17 favorites]

Fuck those assholes, sorry to hear it.
posted by Bella Donna at 3:02 PM on July 12, 2023

My nephew is an instructor at West Point and he and his wife say it's really bad there, with two roads impassable and only one road to the west as the only route in and out.
posted by essexjan at 4:20 PM on July 14, 2023 [3 favorites]

Glad to hear you and turtlegirl are okay, terrapin.
posted by essexjan at 4:37 PM on July 14, 2023 [4 favorites]

My mom told me today that Manchester, NH has some closed-streets type flooding but it doesn’t sound too serious.
posted by bendy at 12:46 AM on July 16, 2023

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