how high’s the water, mama?

5/26 - storm over Richmond, VT

The heavy snows we had this winter were followed by epic melting and the wettest April and May in Vermont’s recorded history. The month isn’t over yet, and there is more rain predicted for the next few days.

On May 6th Lake Champlain also topped out at a record-breaking 103.2 – more than a foot above previously recorded highs. By the time the lake crested on that date, it had already been more than two feet above flood stage for a while and flooding all along the lakeshore had already been happening for several weeks.

I live on a large hill and have not personally been afflicted by flooding. The roads I travel have been washed out, crossed by spontaneous min-rivers, and littered with downed trees, branches, and loads of gravel and rocks washed down from nearby hills. Outside of a few hazardous driving experiences I can’t offer much new perspective on the situation that hasn’t already been explored – at least in words – but I can share with you my view of things via some of the photos I’ve taken in the last month or so.

My slideshow is below, I’ll continue to update it as I get around and get more shots.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Keith Vance is a reporter with the Times-Argus, and he’s also put together a nice (to be clear: nice presentation, not subject matter) slideshow of the shots he took in the devastating wake of last Thursday’s storm and immediate flooding:

There is much suffering and loss due to flooding around the entire nation right now, including Vermont. There’s also much that’s unknown about the longer-term effects of the situation. It crossed my mind recently that the annual Burlington Discover Jazz Festival is scheduled to start in a week, and one of its most popular events is the annual Dixieland Jazz Cruise which leaves from the King Street ferry – except that the ferry dock (parking lot, and all surrounding buildings) has been under more than two feet of water for the last month. I wonder how the cruise can happen as planned – will some creative alternate solution be necessary this year?

So it’s hard to imagine today how recovery is going to begin in many of  the areas I’ve seen. Let’s see how things look later this summer, if/when the lake level begins to subside and the extent of the damage can start to be guaged.

Here’s Vermont Public Radio’s flood page, with stories, photos, videos, road closure information, and resources for flood victims.

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