Crazy weather, Vermont style

As we in Vermont watch the news of floods and tornadoes, we give thanks that — long winters and the occasional ice storm aside — our weather here tends to be pretty mild. (Of course, as I drove home from a business trip yesterday afternoon I heard actual tornado warnings for north-central Vermont, something I’d never heard before. So far as I know, no tornadoes actually formed, but still…)

But last weekend Catherine and I were at home when we had quite a thunderstorm: not much wind, but plenty of lightning and a torrential downpour. When I spoke with my sister-in-law the next day — who live six miles south in Putney proper — I learned that it had been a highly localized event; they didn’t get any rain at all. But she had heard that the rain had been enough to wash out Bemis Hill Road, which is the only way up to the Hidden Springs sugarhouse. So much material was washed out that almost three feet of mud and gravel ran across Westminster Road and blocked access to Saxtons River. The Brattleboro Reformer has a decent article with a picture.

Westminster town road crews have been working all week, with assistance from Putney and, I think, Rockingham. The road is now reportedly passable by a four-wheel drive vehicle, which means that the people who live on the road now have access. (Believe me, no one lives on that road without 4WD!)

All I can say is: it’s a good thing it didn’t happen during sugaring. Fraser runs a truckload of sap up that steep road (from our several “disconnected” collection locations) several times a day.

We live in interesting times. Hope you are all safe from this strange and deadly weather we’ve been having all over.


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