Area towns hit hard by Labor Day storm


SAXTONS RIVER - While most Americans were cherishing a rare Monday off, Rockingham town employees were working to minimize any damage caused by Monday's heavy rainfall.

Rockingham Highway Supervisor Mike Hindes told the Reformer that Saxtons River was the area of town hardest hit by the storm. He said five highway employees, including himself, were in the village before 5 a.m. to keep the roads clear and weren't done until about 2:30 p.m.

"We were there almost 11 hours just clearing roads, fixing roads and smoothing over roads that were rough and clearing culverts," he said, adding that his crew was assisted by the Saxtons River Volunteer Fire Department.

Hindes said a culvert filled up with gravel, resulting in water jumping out of a ditch and washing out a road. He said no major damage was created but some affects of the storm were, as of Tuesday afternoon, still quite visible on Leach and Hitchcock Hill roads. Both were, however, safe for vehicles.

Hindes said two or three village residents told him they had 3 inches of water near their homes and Municipal Manager Willis D. "Chip" Stearns confirmed at a Rockingham Selectboard meeting Tuesday night there was as much as 3 inches of water in some spots of Saxtons River.

He also mentioned that the five employed who worked on the roads will be paid time-and-a-half because it was Labor Day.

Rob Wheeler, the chief operator of the Rockingham Wastewater Department, said it appears a lightning bolt struck the wastewater treatment plant and blew the phone lines apart. He said the telephone company is expected to come today to take a look at the lines. Wheeler said he also noticed the power was out when he arrived at the plant at 6 a.m. but there is no visible damage.

He said Bellows Falls has a contract with Saxtons River to operate the plant.

Domenic Poli can be reached at; or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow Domenic on Twitter @dpoli_reformer


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