Road's Washed Out
And so is the driveway
Yesterday afternoon we lost the road in front of our home and most of our driveway. We are not alone, in fact I suspect hundreds in Vermont and New Hampshire are awakening to the same devastation in their own neighborhoods.
Standing in our yard watching the water take our road and our driveway was surreal. This isn’t the first time we have lost some of our road, but never to this degree. Tucker Hill Road in Thetford is a connector road, for people coming from and going to Strafford and Sharon, or even parts of Norwich. We are all too familiar with drivers who don’t take the speed limit seriously, and have had some near misses. Yesterday, was no exception, and we spent much of that rainy afternoon telling folks to slow down for fear they would end up in the very large ditch in front of our home.
Given the damage all over town, I was impressed with how quickly our Department of Public Works crew showed up, trying to use a back hoe to keep the road from getting any worse. Our volunteer firefighters showed up and put cones down to warn folks they couldn’t drive on our side of the road. At one point our landline rang and we learned that folks who lived on Route 132 from the end of our road to Strafford were facing a mandatory evacuation. This prompted more cars coming down our road, but by then people could see the damage and drove with more caution.
We were one of many who lost power, but thankfully it came back on in time for all of us to be able to shower, cook a good meal, and start planning how we were going to get our cars off our lawn and back on the road in time for work on Monday.
I have spent much of last evening and today pondering how much we all depend on our roads to take us where we need to go. I vividly remember reading and listening to accounts of roads and towns hit by Hurricane Irene, and mourning the loss to the community. As the years have passed, I have noted where repair work took place and where it is still in need of repair. You can visit businesses in the area that still have before and after pictures, including the White Cottage in Woodstock that I wrote about recently.
This morning, we walked down our road, met up with neighbors and learned about how badly damaged many roads in Thetford and beyond are. Folks driving by are all pausing to share a story, or show sympathy for our situation. It is sobering to see a large American Red Cross truck drive by your house. As I write this, my husband and brother are picking up parts of our driveway and trying to put it back, in order to get our vehicles out. I know many in the Upper Valley and beyond are doing the same
I have always been in awe of folks who can work in professions that get a call in a moment’s notice and don’t know when they will be home again themselves. My sincere thanks go out to our DPW folks, our volunteer firefighters, our town clerk’s office and the American Red Cross volunteers.
I hope and pray that no one was hurt in this storm, and that the neighborly spirit that has always been present in New England shines through once again in the weeks and months ahead.