Essex roads flooded by strong rains - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Essex roads flooded by strong rains

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ESSEX, Vt. -

Over the river and through the woods isn't just the way to grandma's house, it is the way a lot of people are having to travel just to make it to their front door.

Dormant brooks and sleepy streams turned into rushing waterways as a result of overnight thunderstorms.

Mark Digangi made it home from a business trip in Albany, only to be stopped at the base of his driveway that completely washed out. He says his three culverts gave out.

"It was just such a volume of water they couldn't handle it. We have had hard rains here before. The water can push pretty hard here," he says.

Fire crews came by to help him across, and they expect it will be an easy fix, once the water levels drop.

Digangi admits he didn't plan for this mess, but luckily the fire department is always prepared.

"What a town we live in," he says.

His family was happy to see him home.

Across town -- others were not able to make is quite as far.

"It seemed like a thunderstorm just got stuck here for about an hour or so," says Essex resident Todd Hobson. "It just rained really, really hard. We watched the river -- well, the creek -- come up."

Water washed over Osgood Hill Road, and the speed and strength of the water was too strong to drive through. One car got stuck and couldn't back out.

"It was getting to be a touchy situation," Hobson says.

Hobson said they couldn't wait for emergency responders so they took action into their own hands.

"We set up a rope tied to this truck, and one guy went out with a life vest and a helmet on and he walked out to the car," he says. "We set the rope up and five people came out, including an 82-year-old man."

Fire crews say there are partial washouts in the Essex area and they expect as the water goes down and the sun comes up, they will get a better understanding of the extent of the damage.

"When they get up and think they are going to work and school, they are going to be surprised to know the roads are closed," says Chief Charles Cole with the Essex Fire Department. "That's going to take some extra time for folks. Some people won't be able to get out unless it's on foot."

A summer-like storm to kick off the unofficial start to the season.

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