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Water-logged Vermont residents are now buried under mountains of mud

Floodwaters are receding in Vermont, but they're leaving a coating of mud that has to be cleaned up.
Water-logged Vermont residents are now buried under mountains of mud
Posted at 7:46 PM, Jul 12, 2023

Amy Rodger walked around the front yard of her Barre, Vermont home, where a thick coating of heavy, black mud coated the grass, her boots and nearly everything in sight. The 47-year-old's home was spared by the floods, but they left behind mud in nearly every crevice and crack on the first floor. 

"It's overwhelming," Rodger said on Wednesday afternoon. 

Rodger lives along Stevens Branch, an offshoot of the Winooski River which reached historic flood stages on Monday, a result of torrential flash flooding which has devastated the Green Mountain State, prompting hundreds of evacuations and leaving dozens of residents homeless. 

While the outside of Rodger's home looked intact, the inside told a different story: Nearly six feet of water filled her basement. The floods have receded, but a pipe disconnected from her hot water heater during the storm allowed city water from a pipe to pour in. 

Three days later, water was still filling this mother's home.

"I'm just really trying to stay positive," she added.

SEE MORE: Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman on Vermont's historic flooding

Across Vermont, roads are buckled as a result of this week's flooding. In a state used to plowing snow, they were instead plowing mud on Wednesday. 

In the capital of Montpelier, volunteer Nick Kachinskiss was doing whatever he could to help, pushing shovels filled with mud across city streets and into piles to be picked up by public works crews. 

"This is my home, that's it and these are my friends and my neighbors," he said as he took a quick break. 

Dozens of businesses were inundated by water in Montpelier. When the damage is this widespread, there are no shortage of deafening sounds, from the pressure washers to the pumps. 

But volunteer Susan Reid was doing her best to combat all the noise. With her violin in hand Wednesday afternoon, she played through the dusty fog of devastation, hoping to comfort anyone stopping by the Episcopal Church of Christ for a sandwich. 

"We're gonna have to keep going for a long time," Reid said. 

That tune of positivity seemed to carry down the street, where business owner Charis Churchill was surrounded by friends and family, washing away what the water left behind. 

It could be months before Churchill reopens Bent Nails Bistro, but she's grateful her bar is still standing. 

"Instead of being upset about it ... just knowing you aren't alone right now and everybody is out helping."

SEE MORE: Cleanup efforts underway as waters recede, revealing Vermont's damage

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