I am leaving the original post below in case anyone wants to check on my waterway advice, but I will just say that in the Batten Kill watershed we got the edge of Sandy's wrap around storm: wind and rain, downed trees and lost power.
But it is hard to feel too relieved and happy, when down south people got hit so hard. I mean, it is one thing to see the Batten Kill coming up in your yard, if the Atlantic is coming up in your yard, well ..... I am grieved and saddened by the damage and suffering.
I did do site visits yesterday to check on the Batten Kill and major tributaries and in all cases I found some high water but nothing unusual in terms of flooding or erosion. Roaring Branch in Sunderland was kind of exciting --- I had not been up the Kelly Stand Road when the Branch was up so high. It was kind of frightening: the water was such a torrent. I could hear the boulders banging and booming off of each other as the current slammed them around, growling like the stomach of a hungry giant. I will get photos up as soon as I can.
Posted Thursday 10/31/12
BKWA Executive Director
Original post below:
As of Sunday morning 10/28/12 it looks as if our area will be more wind than rain.
You have better sources of general emergency preparedness than this website, but I will offer some watershed oriented advice here, nevertheless.
*** If you have any culverts on or near your property, try to be sure that they are clear of sticks, branches, and leaves as much as possible, at the opening and a little way upstream. Put away anything outside that can either float or blow away.
*** If there are any streambanks or road embankments that have new repairs from Irene damage on or near your property, be cautious and alert to the chance that the work might not hold up to really high water. Be particularly careful about long sweeping curves with new riprap against some waterway --- in some cases the stones used may be small enough for the streams to move in high water and again threaten the road way.
*** Also be careful about standing on the banks of rushing streams, even when the water level is not near the top. If water is running high and fast for long enough the banks become saturated at the bottom and essentially turn to mud, so that the entire bank can collapse without warning. Several lives were lost in Vermont during Irene to this kind of catastrophic bank failure. Stay back.
*** Don’t ever drive into a road covered with running water --- the water level may look shallow based on where the road is supposed to be, but the road may be washed out and there may be two to three feet of rushing water instead. A young man made this mistake in Arlington last year during Irene but fortunately his car got caught on some trees before it was swept into the main current of the Batten Kill and he was able to get out and wade to safety.
*** Stay home unless you have to evacuate. While all the pictures and videos can be fascinating, don’t go out there and become a casualty or someone that has to be rescued. The fire departments and police will have enough to do without that.
So --- stay back, stay safe, stay dry, stay home, if at all possible. After the storm we can all go out and see what has happened to our favorite streams and rivers.
Cynthia Browning, BKWA Executive Director
Sunday 10:24 am 10/28/12