By Lisa Loomis
Residents of Hancock and Rochester were waiting for rain to end on August 6, as The Valley Reporter went to press, to determine the extent of the damage from major flooding of the White River.
Vermont Emergency Management personnel were on scene with boats staged for rapid rescue response if necessary and residents had been evacuated from the Tucker Hill Road area of Hancock.
Route 125 was washed out and closed and the bridge over the White River was damaged. Vermont Emergency Management spokesperson Mark Bosma said he had been told the water was six feet deep over parts of Route 100 and said he was watching the area closely as rain was predicted until 3 p.m. Wednesday. Additional thunderstorms were predicted for Wednesday evening.
The Valley Reporter received flood photos and reports from people in Rochester and Hancock, including Mark Dougherty, who said the water was higher than it had been during the 1998 and 1973 floods.
Cathy O'Roarke, who worked at Oatmeal Studios in Rochester, sent pictures and reported that she lives on Route 125 and was worried about her dogs. She said that she and her daughter Cathy Gibbs took pictures at the Lion's Club picnic area in Rochester and when they first got there, the water was not up to the picnic area, but 10 to 15 minutes later the picnic tables were almost floating.
TIRES, TREES AND OIL
"There's a lot of crap floating in the White River here in Rochester -- tires, trees and oil," O'Roarke said.
On Wednesday afternoon Route 100 remained closed in several locations from Stockbridge to Rochester and Hancock through Granville. Warren officials reported that Plunkton Road, from the Colby camp to Route 100, was closed as a portion of the road was washed out. Waitsfield officials warned residents of possible flooding as well.
The National Weather Service estimated that between two and four inches of rain fell early this morning in the Hancock, Granville, Rochester area and reported that additional rainfall of up to an inch fell before noon. Flash flood watches remained in effect through Wednesday evening for the area.