(NECN: Jack Thurston, Barre, Vt.) - Barre, Vermont's Harrington Avenue looks like it was turned inside-out. Chunks of the road crumbled away, swallowing a car when flash floods struck late Thursday night. "Houses aren't safe to be in right now," said 21-year-old Tierra Deyo, of Barre.
Deyo was one of more than 100 people who moved into an American Red Cross shelter when she feared sewage and toxic chemicals washed into her basement. "Some people are going to have to [spend] money they can't really afford, to kind reconstruct their home," Deyo sighed.
When the flood-waters wiped out roads and threatened to cut off some homes entirely, the city started evacuating residents. A pair of teens went door-to-door, helping wake up their neighbors. "One of the guys told me, 'Thank you because you saved my life and my car,'" said Jonathan Amell. "He said, 'Another 5 minutes and I wouldn't have had my car right now.'"
"If me and him didn't help them," added Joseph Donald, "then probably no one would. And it probably could have gotten worse than it did."
City manger Steven Mackenzie told NECN it's impossible to know how long cleanup will take, calling this a region-wide disaster. At the shelter, one young boy had a toad that washed right up to his home when the water hit. "He was underneath a log."
It may take a child to find a silver lining in the destructive flooding, especially with more expected for Vermont.