Elizabethtown resident Tris Horton sits on the foundation of her back yard deck, which was moved by flood waters against a line of trees along the banks of the Boquet River.
Homes along River Road were pummeled with a flash flood during Hurricane Irene's pass Sunday evening, Aug. 28.
When Kristen Hardman of The Woodruff House Bed and Breakfast escaped from the rising water, the water was up to her knees by the time she approached the road.
The rising waters looked like special effects from a bad movie, she said.
Returning Monday morning, Hardman found her double-seat Adirondack chair was moved by the water from its spot near the river, lodged in cedar trees lining the road.
Her Honda CR-V had sunk into the soil where it was parked, and its silt-covered engine didn't make a peep when she tried to start it.
Hardman retained some optimism, and said she still felt blessed. The situation could have been worse and people hurt, said Hardman.
Next door, Tris Horton's deck was torn from its place at her back door and thrown up against a line of trees facing the river in her yard. A gazebo from her backyard was nowhere to be seen Monday morning.
While she was interviewed, her 100-gallon propane was lifted by crane into a truck. It, too, was pulled from its usual place, and it leaked a small amount of propane.
When the water began to pour down Lincoln Pond Road, Horton took her cat and some litter to a parking lot on Water Street, where she was prepared to spend the night. She realized she had a friend on the street, and took her animal over there. She was greeted warmly, she said, and neighbor Bruce Pushee sought shelter there as well.
Pushee and his wife run the Old Mill Bed & Breakfast, which sits in a bend of the Boquette River. The solarium where they serve breakfast was filled with water.
The furniture in the room was picked up by the water and pushed toward the west side of the room, piling up and knocking tall, glass windows from their frames. The screens along the outside of the room were plastered with silt and grass reaching higher than Pushee's knees when he displayed the damage.
His wife is busy canceling reservations, said Pushee, and he said it would be at least a month before they could host anyone.
He's lived with the river for 25 years, said Pushee, and with steady rains all day, he started to feel that the river might have had too much.
He and his wife rolled up as many rugs and moved as much furniture they could before they had to leave their home to the invading waters and meet with Horton at their mutual friend's.
A few houses down, Bud Gangone was out closing roads with the fire department Sunday evening. He returned to see the floodwaters creeping up on his house. He and his wife loaded into their camper and drove it to the Grand Union to wait out the flood.
His wife had heard a loud bang from the basement Sunday evening, but with the basement flooded and waters rising, they didn't have the time or ability to find out what caused it. Gangone thought it was something banging into the furnace.
Gangone returned to find more damage than he'd first thought. Half of his driveway was carved away by rushing water.
“But that was the easy part,” said Gangone.
A large chunk of the foundation supporting the home was knocked out, leaving less support for the structure above.
A fuel line ruptured, leaving a layer of fuel oil floating on top of the water in the flooded basement.
Elizabethtown Fire Chief Ed Martin took shelter at the school along with about 30 others. His home in New Russia escaped serious damage, but a work truck was in the water, and a trailer was moved by the water and stuck in a tree.
He's had a couple calls about people stuck in camps, though so far nothing life-threatening.
Most of his calls are for pump-outs, and they were working their way through a waiting list late Monday morning.