(NECN: Jack Thurston, Smuggler's Notch, Vt.) - The first thing many in Vermont woke up to Thursday was the last thing they needed: another day of pounding rain fueled more flooding. "The water came up faster than I ever saw it," said Eunice Barry. "This was the worst, I think."
Barry was forced out of her senior living complex in hard-hit Lamoille County when the homes lost power. "No choice. Gotta get out of here," she said.
She got to a popular ski area, which is open year-round for recreation. With the slopes closed, Smuggler's Notch Resort could offer free rooms to nearly 100 flood victims. Tom Wescott came, too, fleeing the rising water. "It made you wonder when you're standing there: where can I go, what can I do?" Wescott said.
He called his shelter "extravagant," but worried about what was going on back home. All over Northern Vermont, sump pumps emptying out flooded basements were common sights and sounds.
Many roads remained closed. Receding water reveals serious damage to streets. A farm was drowning, and a boat that washed away landed in a newly-created lake that's normally a dry field. Rivers continue churning angrily, with four inches of rainfall from the past three days mixing with snow melt from the mountains.
Back at the ski resort-turned-shelter, the American Red Cross fed meals to the evacuees. Smuggler's Notch said offering the rooms was just the kind of thing neighbors do to help neighbors in Vermont. "We're very, very happy to be able to help; be given the opportunity to help," added Bill Stritzler, the resort's owner.
Eunice Barry was given the green light to return to her home. "There's no place like home, you know," she chuckled.
Barry and many Vermonters are hoping for a dry weekend, and a break from all this wicked weather.