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Rain keeps falling; repair costs keep rising - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rain keeps falling; repair costs keep rising

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JERICHO, Vt. -

The water came rushing down Schillhammer Road in Jericho Thursday afternoon.

"And I looked out the front and there literally was whitewater coming down the road across the road above our driveway," resident Marsha Morrell said. "You can't see it from this shot, but all the way down our yard which is now filled with 8 inches of gravel and silt."

After crossing the Morrells' property it was on to Plains Road, where the river of water washed away a segment of the road, making it impassable. More expensive damage to be added to the tally from this wet summer weather.

"We are still gathering a lot of information, but we have estimates from Chittenden County, Washington County, Windsor County from a week or so ago; we are still gathering more info from Lamoille and Orange County," said Ross Nagy of Vermont Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

There is a county threshold based on population and a state threshold that will trigger funding from FEMA. The county threshold is based on population; the state threshold is at least $1 million in damage. And based on a map used by the state to track storm damage, those thresholds should easily be met.

"I think we will qualify at the state level, so I think it is at least a million. And it's probably, in comparison, more than the May storm, the Memorial Day storm, which is about a million and a half dollars. So, I would say it's at least that much," Nagy said.

And that does not count the federal highway damage which includes state roads. That damage is being collected and assessed by the Vt. Agency of Transportation. Transportation Secretary Brian Searles says that's probably more than $3 million so far.

Meanwhile, many folks are wondering what further damage will be caused by more downpours.

The water has cut Wes White Hill Road in Richmond in half, draining a pond into the Richmond River and eventually Lake Champlain. And right behind this cutoff culvert is an 80-year-old dam, straining to hold back the pond behind it.

"I am afraid that if it breaks, the amount of water that will be flowing down through the ravine will potentially wash out our neighbors' house and maybe ours," said Helene Arnold of Richmond. "So, I am hoping that FEMA or someone can come in and evaluate it."

Nagy says teams from FEMA are expected to arrive Tuesday in Vermont to begin the process of their evaluation.

Emergency Management tells us that any additional damage that might accrue between now and Tuesday will also be considered by FEMA.

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