The warm weather has people taking to the water a little earlier this year.
That's welcome business for Vermont River Tubing after Tropical Storm Irene put an early end to the season last year.
"We were concerned that the river wouldn't be fit or just in general that we couldn't keep going," says Laurie Novotny with Vermont River Tubing.
The tubing trail along the Tweed River is still intact, but the scenery has changed.
"You could not have seen that house from where we are," says Mary Russ from the White River Partnership.
She says trees and shrubs that once lined the banks were eaten away by flood waters. The vegetation stabilizes the river banks while providing shade and acting as natural filters.
"So there is going to be some compromise in terms of filtering pollutants that runs across the land. The trees would sort of capture that stuff and let it settle out before it got in to the water itself," Russ says.
In one spot, what was once a tree-lined cove with 10-foot-deep water is now an exposed shallow beach, and without the trees here to stop it, when the water rises it can pretty much do what it wants.
"Rivers do not necessarily function well this way," Russ says. "Valley-bottom rivers are shaped like a snake because that is the best way to reduce their power. Straight rivers act sort of like fire hoses."
And that fire hose is exactly what took out Route 107 last August, cutting these rural communities off from the rest of the world for months. The emergency fix was to take materials from the water to rebuild the road. Russ says this method, known as gravel mining, changes the pace of the water.
"Rivers sort of respond if there is more water it can carry more material," Russ says. "If there is less material it will find it from somewhere else and will take it from another place. You create what they call hungry water."
She says despite all of the hard work that went into rebuilding this road, the new river route is sure to wipe out Route 107 again if and when the next major storm hits.
"We think it's better to think long term about where do we have conflicts between a river and our infrastructure. How do we invest as a community in having the best flood resilient communities we can have?" Russ says. "And this may mean that Route 107 cannot be here anymore, or shouldn't, or we just recognize we are going to replace it every time we have a big flood."
Despite the changes, the river is still a great way to spend a hot day.
"We have 200 tubes and on busy days we are just waiting for them to come back, so we can send the next group out," Novotny says.
An early start to a recovering industry post-Irene.
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps will spend the next five weeks pulling trash and debris from the river as a continuing clean up effort after the storm.
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