Between emergency fixes and permanent repairs, Duxbury will ultimately have over $100,000 in flooding damage as the result of an April 15 rainstorm/flooding event.
At the April 21 Duxbury Select Board meeting, flooding damages and costs were discussed between board members and road foreman Adam Magee. The town will know more after FEMA conducts their preliminary damage assessment as to what the actual dollar amount will be.
Since the April 15 heavy rains damaged Camel’s Hump Road and others, Duxbury road crew members have opened up roads surrounding the lower Camel’s Hump Road. As of April 17, Camel’s Hump at Marshall Road was reopened with work continuing on Mountainview and Richardson Roads.
After discussing the issue with the select board, Magee voiced concern via email about the banks sliding and falling into the road near Scrabble Hill. Magee worried that at some point the bank will fall into the road completely. Over the years the highway crew has been addressing the banks by cleaning trees and clay out of the ditches.
Magee noted that Scrabble Hill and Camel’s Hump have been issues as far as road maintenance for many years.
When asked if the damage caused by the April 15 heavy rain will boost up the highway budget, Magee said that the town has applied for grants to repair the slide. Overtime work by the crew as well as materials for the emergency flooding such as cones, barricades or traffic signs will be reimbursed by FEMA.
Vermont has an emergency threshold of $1 million after the heavy rain and flood last week. Vermont is currently over $2 million. FEMA will not cover costs if work has not been done to remedy washouts or other disasters.
When asked what Duxbury’s slide prevention plan is, if they had one, Magee responded, “My slide prevention plan is simple. Don't touch any steep clay banks if you don't have a way to stabilize it.”
At the Duxbury Select Board meeting on April 22, Magee said the highway crew spends 75 percent of its time on the north side of Duxbury; River Road and Camel’s Hump have been graded more than 10 times each and Dowsville has gotten it once.
Community members attending the meeting suggested the extra work is due to heavy traffic. “It’s getting as much traffic as it can bear. … It’s no wonder it has to be bandaged all the time,” said Lars Dickerson, a member of the emergency management team and who also lives on Camel’s Hump.
Duxbury currently has a grant application for paving River Road. Paving would start at the Winooski Street Bridge and go toward Camel’s Hump. The project will include grinding and resurfacing as well as painting lines.
The Winooski Street Bridge is closed for commercial traffic as it can’t bear the weight of heavy trucks. School buses are not supposed to travel that route.