"The flood we had a few months ago was bad but nothing like this. It's the worst I've ever seen," said Randy Farnsworth of Northfield Falls.
Farnsworth ventured out to witness the remnants of Hurricane Irene with his own eyes. In Northfield Falls, the storm sent trees crashing into this covered bridge. Residents could only look on in shock.
"Hopefully they can save it. It looks like it could be saved but it's going to take some work," Farnsworth said.
Raging flash floods left a wake of destruction along major state routes like 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12 and 100. Flood waters tore roads apart and destroyed landmarks, like the historic covered bridge in Bartonsville. It was swept away.
"Well this is really an unprecedented event both the scale and the intensity of this storm as it went through Vermont," said Sue Minter of VTrans.
The storm forced the closure of 263 state and local roads and damaged or destroyed more than 25 state bridges. Transportation officials expect that number to rise as towns begin to report the impact on their communities. But state resources are already stretched to their limit and officials are now looking to Massachusetts for extra manpower, signage, barricades and temporary bridges.
"We are prioritizing. We know that there are over a dozen communities right now who are actually stranded. They are cut off from roadways, both ways. So that's our top priority, establishing linkages to cut off communities," Minter said.
VTrans is meeting every three hours to update its recovery strategy and highway crews are working around the clock shoring up roads and establishing detours. But everywhere they turn-- more devastation.
This is one of the more obvious examples of how flash flooding has undermined Vermont roads. But emergency management officials are urging folks not to bypass road closed signs because the state is still trying to get a handle on just how many roads may have been compromised.
"This is a serious, serious situation and we want Vermonters to take it seriously," Minter said.
Transportation officials are asking folks not to travel if you don't have to. Inspectors have not been able to get to many of the affected roads and simply cannot vouch for their safety. They're also asking Vermonters to be patient -- some roads with minor washouts will reopen in two to three days while others could take weeks. For the latest road closures you can call 511 or visit 511vt.com.
Saturday, December 21 2013 12:50 AM EST2013-12-21 05:50:01 GMT
A Claremont New Hampshire woman is accused of holding up gas station in Rockingham at gun point. Police say 41-year-old Shannon Vick walked into the Exit 6 Sunoco wearing a mask and displaying a handgun.More >>
A Claremont New Hampshire woman is accused of holding up gas station in Rockingham at gun point.More >>
Saturday, December 21 2013 12:49 AM EST2013-12-21 05:49:11 GMT
Williston Police need your help finding a serial purse snatcher. Authorities say a woman swiped a purse with a thousand dollars inside from a shopping cart at the Hannaford Supermarket Thursday. TheyMore >>
Williston Police need your help finding a serial purse snatcher.More >>
Saturday, December 21 2013 12:46 AM EST2013-12-21 05:46:57 GMT
Police say they've nabbed an alleged thief thanks to your help. In surveillance video that aired on Channel 3 News on Wednesday -- a man is shown stealing ammunition clips from rifles at Farm-way in Bradford.More >>
Police say they've nabbed an alleged thief thanks to your help.More >>
Friday, December 20 2013 7:43 PM EST2013-12-21 00:43:50 GMT
We've got some ideas of what to do this Saturday, December 21, 2013. BUT... please check before you leave to make sure it's safe on the roads and the events haven't been called off due to icy weather! ORCHESTRAMore >>
We've got some ideas of what to do this Saturday, December 21, 2013.More >>
Friday, December 20 2013 7:49 PM EST2013-12-21 00:49:51 GMT
Warnings tonight about a potentially devastating ice storm. The National Weather Service says conditions are ripe for an extended stretch of freezing rain. Already this afternoon, we're seeing the effectsMore >>
Warnings about a potentially devastating ice storm. The National Weather Service says conditions are ripe for an extended stretch of freezing rain.More >>
Friday, December 20 2013 6:32 PM EST2013-12-20 23:32:42 GMT
Prosecutors have upgraded charges against a New Hampshire man linked to a deadly crash on Interstate 89 earlier this month. Police say Robert Dellinger, 53, told them he was trying to kill himself whenMore >>
Prosecutors have upgraded charges against a New Hampshire man linked to a crash that killed a Vermont couple and their unborn child earlier this month.More >>
Friday, December 20 2013 12:50 PM EST2013-12-20 17:50:34 GMT
A man already serving time for killing his infant son in Vermont now faces the death penalty for killing his 2-month-old daughter in California. Jason Hann was convicted in Vermont for the 1999 beatingMore >>
A man already serving time for killing his infant son in Vermont now faces the death penalty for killing his 2-month-old daughter in California.More >>