I am so grateful that Hurricane Irene was a tropical storm by the time she blew through Western Massachusetts, but enough rain fell on already saturated ground that we’ve seen some of the worst flooding in over half a century in this area and in many areas of Southern Vermont where one of my sisters lives.
I am lucky enough to be on higher ground, and we didn’t lose power, but many millions did lose power, as well as having to deal with floods and downed trees.
Here’s some photos of the Eunice Williams’ Covered Bridge – where I had jumped from just a few weekends ago – and now it’s near collapse from the Green River flooding yesterday.
Before the flood:
During the flood:
In this shot, all the water flow to the right in front of the now broken concrete overflow section had been solid ground and trees the day before yesterday.
Here is some video footage I took of the flooded Green River:
The Deerfield River (of which the Green River is a main tributary) was also at least ten feet above its banks, flooding from Vermont through Massachusetts, where it exits into the Connecticut River, which was swollen as well but not at its flood stage as of this morning.
It’s raining hard and steady today, as it was yesterday, and I am ruing the end of summer. It was a hot, sunny and sultry summer weekend before this past one, and I went swimming with some old and new friends a few times at a place called the Pumping Station where there is a covered bridge over the Green River, and a concrete dam where the reservoir water spills over.
Some years ago the river below the dam was filled in with tons of sand to keep people from jumping off the bridge, and the bridge walk-way was fenced over from the roof of the bridge to the bottom of the walk-way rail.
It was an effective deterrent until the huge storms of the last years washed the sand downstream, and actually made the swimming hole deeper than it had previously been. Someone had also bent the fence out enough that you can slide through the railings, grab hold of the fence on the other side and pull yourself out to step onto the ledge to jump, and that’s exactly what we did. Getting out onto the ledge was more frightening than jumping, although the first jump I took was dizzying.
I wanted my friends to jump with me, but I was among only a few adults jumping with the group of kids and teens. My friend who used to jump off the bridge with me many years ago was happier staying on the edge of the water taking pictures of the rest of us
This is me, and my friend, Barb, back in the day when we’d go nearly every weekend and jump and swim:
Here I am last weekend:
Happy and proud:
It was an extraordinary weekend spent in the company of some of my dearest friends, and the memory comforts me now, even as I long to be back in the water again.