After spending the night at a friend's house we returned to East Middlebury early this morning. Here's what we found:
Otter Creek leaving Middlebury... high but not dangerous. The crest hasn't arrived here yet, though. The sky looks nasty, but the clouds were clearing.
East Main Street was not destroyed, or buried in mud. It was obvious that the river had run down the road, though. There was some debris:
Hard to see above, but there is a high water line near the sidewalk.
Goodrow Lumber was spared, except for some very minor parking area damage. Mac's Market across the street was also spared and was open. They told me they had to open a bit late, but everything was fine. Nearby, many people were pumping out their basements. Our home was undamaged, as it is a couple of feet above the road. Our garden was not damaged by flooding, but was damaged by the groundhog again. I was hoping it had drowned, but apparently not.
The river is raging, and is almost unrecognizable. Trees had been uprooted and existing logs have washed away. A 20' tall, 50' long section of vertical bank was created.
Here's what it looked like a few weeks ago, when the water was low:
Note that the young trees to the left were almost completely destroyed (there is a reason they were young... they are on a gravel bar. That area floods often). The leaning sycamore to the right somehow survived the flood.
The flood plain along the river had been buried in mud and debris.
Unlike human structures, floodplain forest is well adapted to frequent floods. This deposit of silt and sand will provide nutrients for the plants, and will benefit the flood-adapted plants in this area such as sycamore, cottonwood, and ostrich fern.
Later today I will check out the gorge and the bridges, and find where the river jumped its banks and flowed down the road. Unfortunately, homes in that area probably sustained more damage.
Also, if you want to see me as a soggy flood refugee, I was interviewed in Channel 3 news yesterday evening.