Vermont Deals With Flood Devastation From Irene - NECN

Vermont Deals With Flood Devastation From Irene



    (NECN: Josh Brogadir: Woodstock, Vt.) - So many Vermont rivers and streams and brooks crested their banks - the Ottauquechee River - was up to the top of that Woodstock Farmers' Market sign - a paved parking lot - is no longer there.

    For 158 years, the Vermont Standard has never missed press time.

    "(The sign's) still on the door, we're still in business, by golly," said publisher Phil Camp, who said they've put out a newspaper every week since 1853.

    They've made it through wars and recessions - but now they're up against perhaps the greatest challenge of all - layers of mud - collapsed walls - 40 years of archives gone - the work of flood waters from Irene.

    "It's about 5 and a half, 6 feet inside there, so it took everything and just turned it into spaghetti," he said.

    "The water was up in this entire area. A raging river, so it was pretty rough," said Woodstock Farmers' Market owner Patrick Crowl whose business is next door.

    The clean-up is knee deep with employees and volunteers - the building should be ok.

    That can't be said for the mobile homes across the Ottaquechee River in West Woodstock.

    If this doesn't show the power of the floodwaters I don't know what will, there used to be two trailers right on the piece of property. Now one is over here being held up by these trees, the other one flung over to the side. There was a woman in there at the time of the flooding, she had to be rescued by emergency crews. She is going to be ok.

    "We are very fortunate that everybody here is safe. It could have turned out a lot worse for a lot of people here in this park," said Gary Wade who lives in one of those trailers.

    This stream ate the road right near the park.

    No way to get around in a car, so Tim O'Connell, a veteran of Florida hurricanes, is on his motorcycle, bringing groceries to stranded friends.

    "I'm eating my words right now because I've been giving everybody all kinds of hard time up here, calling them wimps. Damn, it did its job," said O'Connell.

    Back in Woodstock there's not much left of the Vermont Standard, except all 8 employees who will have to start all over.

    "We'll bounce back. We've been here a long time, right? And we're not going to take 158 years and let it go down the river over here. We'll be back on the street this week," vowed Camp.

    When he does find a way to print, I think he has a few storylines from this incredible natural disaster in central Vermont.