Flooding Closes Businesses, Roads - The Caledonian-Record - St. Johnsbury, VT
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home : top news August 27, 2015

4/28/2011 8:33:00 AM
Flooding Closes Businesses, Roads
PHOTO BY JAMES JARDINEABOVE: Lyndonville firefighters T.J. Hopkins and James Dziobek, wearing protective wet suits, help Lyndon State College student Dale Frattaroli from her flooded Toyota RAV 4 Wednesday morning. Her car stalled out in floodwaters as she approached the Millers Run Covered Bridge in Lyndon Center.PHOTO BY TODD WELLINGTONRIGHT: St. Johnsbury firefighter Mike Pelow hauls a sandbag to help stop flood waters from entering the old Grange building on Route 5 in St. Johnsbury Center Wednesday. At left is firefighter Troy Darby. In the truck is firefighter Tim Angell.
+ click to enlarge

PHOTO BY JAMES JARDINE

ABOVE: Lyndonville firefighters T.J. Hopkins and James Dziobek, wearing protective wet suits, help Lyndon State College student Dale Frattaroli from her flooded Toyota RAV 4 Wednesday morning. Her car stalled out in floodwaters as she approached the Millers Run Covered Bridge in Lyndon Center.

PHOTO BY TODD WELLINGTON

RIGHT: St. Johnsbury firefighter Mike Pelow hauls a sandbag to help stop flood waters from entering the old Grange building on Route 5 in St. Johnsbury Center Wednesday. At left is firefighter Troy Darby. In the truck is firefighter Tim Angell.


Flooding in Lyndonville and St. Johnsbury Center on Wednesday led to stalled cars on flooded roads, evacuated neighborhoods, business closings, road closings and power outages throughout the region.

In several Lyndonville neighborhoods, municipal workers and firemen went door-to-door before 8 a.m. telling residents they should evacuate due to the rising levels of the Passumpsic River.

Parts of routes 5 and 122, Red Village Road and Center Street were closed. A number of area businesses closed, and in several places, rescue crews responded to stranded drivers who had ignored the giant, bright "ROAD CLOSED" signs.

At least two cars stalled in the flood waters at the intersection of Stevens Loop, routes. 5 and 114. And Lyndonville firefighters donned wet suits, entered the frigid water and hooked cables to the cars.

At 9 a.m., flood-waters approached New England Home Crafters and entered the rear of the LynBurke Motel. Both parking lots were under water.

On Route 122 at the Miller's Run Covered Bridge, Dale Frattaroli of Stamford, Conn., a Lyndon State College student, was headed to a class when she drove her Toyota RAV 4 through flood waters. Her engine stalled and left her stranded in her vehicle.

Frattaroli said she telephoned her father in Connecticut while she waited for rescuers. She said her father kept repeating, "You saw that flood waters were covering the road, but you drove through it anyway?"




She was also able to get in some text messaging while waiting for help. Lyndonville firefighters and the Sheffield-Wheelock rescue unit responded to the scene, and firefighters donned wet suits to walk her to safety.

More vehicles stalled on Broad Street near Kinney Drugs and Rite Aid. Firefighters asked the two drugstores and Community National Bank to close to lessen the chance that more vehicles would attempt to drive through the water.

Firefighters converted the one-way stretch of Charles Street in Lyndonville to two-way traffic so vehicles could bypass the high water in front of Lyndonville Hardware.

The Northeast Kingdom Mobile Home Park was also evacuated. Police tape was put up about 8 a.m. and residents scrambled to help each other.

"It happens a couple of times a year," resident Tyler Lyon said. He, along with residents Bobby Randall and Dustin Collins, were helping other tenants.

Randall, 18, who has lived in the park most of his life, said it seems like he's been through " a couple hundred" flooding incidents. He said the residents know to first help each other. "You've got to be nice."

After helping a number of park residents, longtime park resident Bruce Appleby (in waders), smiled and said, "It's a lot of fun."

Retired Lyndonville Deputy Fire Chief William Thompson delivered warm muffins, made by his wife, to the fire station and promised more.

Fire Chief Greg Hopkins, sitting near a map of the town showing which roads had been closed, said Germaine Thompson always took good care of the firefighters, and continues to be thoughtful to the guys.

The Lyndon Public Safety Building was set up as an emergency shelter, and one person was there early in the day, Center Street resident Zane Reed, who said he left his apartment about 7 a.m. He said the flooding was the worst he'd seen in about 10 years.

Good fishing," he said. He said his neighbors knocked on his door and told him he'd better get out. So he left too quickly to even grab his wallet, and headed right to the shelter at the fire department.

"The hospitality of the Lyndonville Fire Department has been great. They've met all my needs," said Reed, enjoying a cup of coffee. "Many thanks."

A neighbor of Reed's, Michael Mozdzierz said he was awakened by a phone call from a friend early Wednesday, warning him of the rising river.

"It flooded about five minutes later," said Mozdzierz. "It was just coming right in the front door."

Morning flooding in northern Coos County forced several closures along Route 3, New Hampshire Department of Transportation officials said.

The route was closed in several locations, said DOT spokesman Bill Boynton, including Bishop Brook Road in West Stewartstown. A portion of the highway closed a half-mile south of West Stewartstown was only open for emergency vehicles.

And with flooding in Vermont, Route 3 was closed at the Maidstone Bridge, with the bridge also closed, he said.

In Pittsburg, Route 3 was also closed at mile marker 231 near the second Connecticut Lake, Boynton said.

Northern Grafton County appeared to be spared, according to officials.

Littleton Fire Chief Joe Mercieri reported no flooding of rivers or culverts.

And in Bath, which periodically sees flooding along the Ammonoosuc River, Bath Police Chief Dennis MacKay said, "We've escaped this round so far.

"The last big rain brought a lot of damage," said MacKay. "In West Bath, it was a fight for the highway department to keep access, but this time around we're in pretty good shape."

MacKay also said the town lucked out this spring during the ice out with its ice floes that come down the river and can sometimes wreak havoc on bridges.

Caledonian Staff Writers Robert Blechl, James Jardine and Todd Wellington contributed to this story.





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