(NECN: Jack Thurston, Duxbury, Vt.) - "I've never seen anything like this," sighed Eric Broudfoot, as he surveyed the dirt road running to his home in Duxbury, Vt. "It was really wild. I've never seen water like that coming down."
Big chunks of Camel's Hump Road were washed away, trapping Broudfoot and his neighbors at their mountainside homes. Broudfoot also lamented severe damage to his prized flower gardens, as gushing water left rocks and piles of dirt behind.
Record rainfall pounded Vermont Tuesday night, overwhelming culverts and feeding rivers that were already swollen with melted snow running off the mountains.
Countless roads were impassable, including busy Route 15 in Cambridge, Vt. "I looked out the window and there was a river in the front yard," said Cambridge resident Nicole Brown.
Brown and her family, including four kids, were resting in an ambulance Wednesday morning. They were uninjured, but had no place else to go after their home was turned into an island. "I was getting a little nervous," the mom said.
Brown, her husband, and kids had no way to get out. So emergency workers brought in a dump truck to pluck them to safety. It was heavy enough to make it through the water their cars couldn't have crossed. "At first it was kind of exciting," Nicole Brown said. "It was kind of neat because we've never seen anything like this before, but then it started to get scary when they told us it was rising at six inches per hour!"
Further down the Lamoille River, in Milton, Vt., emergency crews suggested a handful of residents leave their homes, as the water appeared to be creeping up on their property.
In Jeffersonville, Vt., canoes were the easiest way to travel on main roadways. Some horses had to find higher ground after their barn filled with water above the animals' knees. NECN witnessed several drivers ignoring safety warnings to not travel over flooded streets, where there's no telling if the road underneath is washed out, or how fast the water is rushing.
Kids tiptoed through the flooded streets carefully, finding the water flooded their boots.
Jim Albright brought his camera to Fairfax, Vt. to snap photos of the Fairfax Falls on the Lamoille River. "Absolutely amazing," Albright said.
There, churning water rushed by a hydroelectric plant, kicking up mist and drawing spectators, many of whom had never seen the water so high or violent. "
It is right up there with the most exciting that I've seen it," Albright said.
It was a thrill, but a reminder of the dangerous strength of water, with more thunderstorms in the forecast for Vermont.