Thursday, July 23, 2015

Water, Water, Everywhere

Sunday, it rained on and off all day. We were predicted to get thunderstorms, but it seemed to rumble and rumble without any real payoff other than a few brief showers. At about 6:45, when I headed out to the barn, it was clear and not too cloudy, though damp from a passing shower.

I got to the barn at about 6:55, and it was already raining hard. By the time I got inside - and mind you, I parked right next to the door, so we're talking a distance of ten feet - it was raining as hard as I have ever seen it rain in my life.

Taken out the door of the indoor.

I called the barn owners and asked if they wanted the doors closed - yes, please! I remembered that a few weeks ago the door to the indoor in particular had been left open during a bad rain and part of the footing had washed out.

It was raining so hard that the roof was leaking from the sheer force of it. Tristan's stall had two or three spots were drips were coming down. He was so mad. He kept dancing around trying to get out of the water and glaring at me like it was my fault. He finally found a way to stand that kept him perfectly dry.

Mind you - we're not talking even a real leak. Drops of water, inconsistently. That should tell you something about much Tristan hates rain.

I stayed about an hour grooming and tidying my tack trunk, and the rain eased up - a good thing for a lot of reasons, not least of which was that it was rattling the barn and indoor roof so hard I could not hear myself think. I've never heard it so loud. The rain stopped before I left, and I stood by my car watching the next storm come in across the valley. I am not a huge storm lover; thunder typically wigs me out. This was totally mesmerizing. The lightning streaked toward the mountaintops, and then the thunder rolled through the valley like giant tearing paper with an earthshaking boom at the tail. Slowly, lines of mountains disappeared as the clouds rolled in. I left before it got there.

I got home, and it started raining again, hard, not long afterwards. Then at about 10pm, when we were getting ready for bed, we lost power. I called in the outage and started checking Twitter and Facebook and yup: severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings.

And I saw this photo. That's 2.5 blocks from my house, at the major intersection with Main Street. I drive through there every day. See those blocky things in the middle ground, on the left? Those are the tops of 4' tall granite columns. Unbelievable.

Our house is on a hill, and while we had some tiny leakage into the garage due to an old, dry, semi-rotted rubber seal on the bottom of the garage door, everything else flowed downhill to create flash floods right downtown.

The adjacent town where Tristan lives was even harder hit. Here's a blog with photos of some of the roads; almost all of them are ones I take every day. The first photo is the reverse of the one I took the next day, trying to get to the barn.

So out of the 5 different roads I can take to the barn, only one survived the storms intact. It means tripling my commute - going back out to a major road, down several miles, then doubling around through back roads. Even those roads are not in great shape, with cuts and washouts bitten out of them. At least I can get there, though - there are a few houses that were completely cut off.

I knew that Vermont was prone to floods, and there have certainly been many bad floods in this area in the past - from the 1927 flood to Tropical Storm Irene - but this was my first personal experience of it!


  1. Yikes! Stay safe in all that water!

  2. The weather patterns across the country this year have been crazy. I'm dreading what winter will have in store, seeing as Lily has just started shedding her summer coat. Stay safe and dry!

  3. those photographs are wild! i didn't know Vermont had so many problems with violent flooding. hopefully it means they'll be quick about patching everything back up again?


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