(NECN: Lauren Collins, Keene,NH) - It was slow going around western New Hampshire Wednesday if you could get around.
“Came in town for a birthday and can’t get back there,” says Gilsum resident Reymie Millay who was in Keene when the storm hit. “Road’s all washed out in a few different spots.”
Millay lives at the top of Belvedere Road in Gilsum, washed away by the intense rains that buried the tires of an SUV on the corner of Route 10. His family stayed in a hotel for the night but had lunch at the Red Cross Shelter.
“We will staff it for approximately another 24 hours,” says Red Cross of New Hampshire CEO Maria White. “Right now we’re out doing damage assessment across the community so that we can figure out how many residents may be sleeping here tonight.”
More than two dozen people were there overnight. Evacuations were optional in neighborhoods where the waters rose quickly. Most chose to stay home and help each other
“We’ve done a few kayak rides around to check in on the neighbors and my husband’s taken some folks to their house to get some stiff for the night,” says Beth Zinn whose house is at a finally dry corner.
Steady progress is already underway on the miles of roads washed out or compromised by Tuesday’s sudden rush.
“Sullivan Center Road, that we lost about seven tenths of a mile, and that means the whole road. Culverts and ditches,” explains NHDOT Engineer John Kallfelz.
That means lengthy detours for those who have a way to get out. Others, like Millay, have an alternate plan.
“Gonna take a four wheel ride, me and my dad. Go up, get some clothes, what not we can get.”
It’s been nearly seven years since this area of the state was forced to bail out. The damage then was deadly. This time, for most people, it’s more of an inconvenience.
Janice Bourassa had to run two pumps but her basement was far from full.
“The last couple of times we’ve had to empty our basement, so this has been very fortunate for us.”