Picking up the pieces after flooding in Johnson

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JOHNSON, Vt. (WCAX) Johnson was one of the towns hit hard with flooding over the weekend. Monday roads were open and residents back in their homes, but the damage can still be seen at the Johnson shopping center which is home to Sterling Market and the Post Office. Both were flooded Saturday.
Jane Draper has been postmaster for almost 12 years. She says she has seen floods hit the post office before but something was unique about this flood.

“We only had maybe 20 minutes to even realize what was going on,” said Draper.

The building quickly took about 14 inches of water, but only about 20 boxes and a few dozen packages were damaged. Our cameras were not allowed in the back behind-the-scenes but Draper explained what it looked like before the cleanup started.

"Maybe like your child’s room that just had a temper tantrum, maybe something of that sort," said Draper.

The rest of the town also seems to be recovering.

"The town’s doing very well. Life is to some degree going back to pretty much normal for most all the residents," said Eric Osgood who is Johnson's Emergency Management Director.

He says floods in the past from the Lamoille River have prompted implementing measures to prevent rising waters from getting indoors, but there was something different about this recent flood.

"This type of flooding is foreign to us. We've never had the ice jam in that kind of a flood situation," Osgood said.

Although different he said it was an easier clean up than the past.

"It was just water there isn't the typical mud and all kinds of crap to clean out," said Osgood.

WCAX did not hear from the owner of Sterling Market but did talk to employees who have been working around the clock inside, they said they're working to get it open but there is still no timetable for when that will happen. The post office plans to open back up on Tuesday.