ADDISON COUNTY — Several roads across the county were closed on Friday morning due to flooding brought on by the heavy rainfall the area received at the end of last week.
A stretch of Route 116 in Bristol was shut down Friday morning, as were sections of River Road in New Haven and Route 7 near McConnell Road in Brandon. As waters continued to rise, a section of Three Mile Bridge Road from Route 7 to Halladay Road in Middlebury was closed, and a portion of Route 125 in Ripton was reduced to one lane.
Officials assessing the situation on Friday said flooding would become more widespread before waters receded.
“It’s only going to get worse,” said New Haven Road Commissioner Roger Boise a little after nine on Friday morning. “We’re not even at the peak yet.”
Route 116 was closed from the Route 17 intersection west of Bristol village to just south of the intersection with Cove Road, according the dispatcher at the New Haven Vermont State Police barracks. He said that the interruption in traffic was a result of the water flowing up and over the road.
Signs were being placed on Route 125 in Middlebury warning travelers of the closures on 116 allowing them the chance to turn back before they hit a block and had to turn around, he said.
Sections of River Road in New Haven were also out of commission on Friday. The Nash Bridge was closed due to flooding along with the section of the road surrounding it, according to Boise. Halpin Road, too, was washed over.
“Basically River Road is out of operation and Halpin Road, too, because of that,” Boise said. “We’ve had one family who’s had to move out already.”
F. Peter and Margaret “Muffin” Carothers were forced to evacuate their home on Nash Farm near the bridge on River Road early Friday morning after water began gushing through their garage and into their house.
Other than the flooding on River Road, he said, the town of New Haven suffered little damage.
“We’ve had a couple of small trees down, but the rest of the town isn’t too bad,” he said.
Lincoln residents also had their share of Friday flooding.
The doors of Burnham Hall were covered by nearly six inches of water at one point Friday morning according to Lincoln Fire Chief Jeff Cousino. He and his team were dispatched at 2:20 a.m. on Friday to secure the flood panels in Burnham Hall to prevent the water from getting inside the historic building. The panels were installed after Burnham Hall suffered a great deal of water damage 12 years ago.
“No water will actually get into the building,” Cousino said on Friday. “We redesigned it after the flood of ’98 and added the flood panels and a pump system just in case water were to leak past the panels.”
Lincoln resident Don Gale spent Friday morning clearing equipment out of his sugarhouse near the banks of the New Haven River as water began to overflow into his yard.
“It was up to about four, four-and-a-half inches in the sugarhouse,” Gale said. “And there was water flowing around the building and through the yard.”
His lawn, Gale said, was quite a sight to see.
“It looks like we’re having a huge yard sale right now,” he said, explaining that he and his neighbors had spent the early part of Friday morning frantically moving all of the sugaring equipment out of the sugarhouse and onto his front lawn, where the equipment sat covered in tarps.
“All the neighbors came over and helped move stuff out,” he said. “And I’ve got all of my sugaring trucks parked over at the neighbors’ house.”
Despite the ruckus of the morning, Gale said that no real damage has been done.
“Afterward I’ll just have to clean the silt out,” he said, explaining that he will use the power washer he purchased after the last big flood.
The New Haven River overstepping its boundaries is nothing new. But as Gale put it:
“Well, at least this one’s not as serious as the one in ’98.”
Tamara Hilmes is at firstname.lastname@example.org.