Lake Champlain is starting to go down, but as the water recedes a new problem arises -- the debris left behind.
Bill Lanzetta feels like he's stuck in a bad dream. First it was the flooding. "Where we are standing was all under water," he said. Then it was the wind and the waves. And now, it's the garbage and debris. "It's pressure treated woods. It's clothes, chairs, window frames, it's everything out there," Lanzetta said.
And the costs to clean that up are also adding up. Residents on Colchester Point have already spent upwards of 10-thousand dollars disposing of all the garbage that's washed up on their front lawns.
The City of Burlington is also dealing with a big mess. Most parks are covered with debris. It's hard to believe, but North Beach was already cleaned up once and the debris is back. "here usually isn't anything like we're seeing right now. It's pretty daunting," said Maggie Leugers with the Burlington Parks and Recreation Department. Several Burlington beaches are still closed. The city estimates it has lost 42-thousand dollars in revenue so far at North Beach alone.
The driftwood is more abundant than the garbage, but it's not as expensive to get ride of. The city-owned McNeil Generating Station accepts driftwood for free. Several municipalities and most homeowners are dumping debris there, where it's ground into wood chips and used to produce electricity. "We're expecting several thousand tons of material to come in," said Bill Kropelin with the Burlington Electric Department.
For homeowners like Bill Lanzetta, that's one less thing to worry about. Homeowners who just can't seem to catch a break from mother nature.