MIDDLESEX — Strong rains caused problems for many locals, including the road foreman in Middlesex, who needed a ladder between his driveway and the road to get to work.
“Unfortunately, I had a spot on my driveway eroded and I had to get to work, and I needed an extension ladder to get across my driveway,” Paul Cerminara said.
Parts of central Vermont were awash with water that caused flooding and serious erosion in some cases after a night of thunderstorms and heavy rain on Sunday.
A half-mile section of Macey Road in Middlesex was washed out after a blocked culvert caused water to displace tons of road material. There were also reports of other minor flooding and erosion of roads in Calais. More heavy rain was expected Monday night and there was concern that there may be more flooding, erosion and road damage.
Cerminara was busy Monday assessing major damage to Macey Road, between Wood and West Hill roads, which will remain closed to traffic until repairs can be made.
“I don’t have a current estimate, but we lost a half-mile of, basically, one and a half lanes due to a plugged 3-foot (diameter) culvert,” Cerminara said.
“We haven’t got far enough in evaluating a cost estimate but we’re probably looking, at least on that project, probably $50,000 to $60,000 in equipment and material,” Cerminara added.
Cerminara said other smaller flooding and erosion problems were still being evaluated.
“We’re still in the process of a kind of a triage,” Cerminara said. “They’re not nearly as extensive.”
As bad as the damage to Macey Road was, Cerminara said it was not an urgent matter to address it immediately.
It’s a through road, so it’s not imperative,” Cerminara said. “I do have one residence that is caught in the middle of that.
“We’ll be making sure that by the end of the day, they will be able to exit and enter their property,” he added. “But luckily, the majority of that stretch is kind of landlocked, which is a big help, because if there were several other drives that we had to take care of, it would make it a much more critical project.”
Cerminara said he thought the area might have been hit by a small microburst because of the damage caused — damage that affected him personally at his home on Mead Road.
Cerminara said he had contacted Dubois & King to help with the repair work but was also holding off until Monday’s expected heavy rains had passed.
“I’m not going to bother because we’re supposed to have severe thunder showers later (Monday),” Cerminara said. “Unfortunately, the culvert is still plugged — it’s plugged in the middle — so until I’m able to mitigate that, I’m not going to do extensive repair to the road itself.”
Fortunately, those storms passed us by without any further trouble. In fact, much of the region was bathed in sunshine through the late afternoon and into the evening Monday.
In Calais, there was some minor flooding and erosion of some roads but no major damage or disruption for traffic, according to Road Commissioner Arthur Larrabee.
Larrabee said there was minor flooding of Pekin Brook Road and erosion on Dugar Brook Road and West County Road.
“Pekin Brook Road was flooded because there was so much water, it couldn’t go anywhere,” Larrabee said.
Larrabee said he had also spent Monday morning working on clearing culverts on Worcester Road and Collar Hill Road that had caused some erosion.
Larrabee said he was waiting to see if expected heavy rains Monday night bring any more problems with flooding.
“I wouldn’t be surprised (if there was more flooding),” Larrabee said. “If a culvert gets plugged up with debris, or whatnot, that’s when things happen.”
After a busy time for road crews through winter, followed by snow melt from higher-than-average snowfall and a wet spring, Larrabee said he was looking forward to a welcome reprieve.
“Yeah, for sure, we’re ready for Mother Nature to give us a break,” Larrabee said.