The weekend started out happily with my book signing at World Eye Books. I got to meet new readers, and chat with old friends like Bob and Sue Gruen who gave a wonderful talk last night for the Heath Historical Society about weaving in colonial times – and now.
But, by the time we left their talk around 9, Irene’s rains had arrived. Heavy rains on and off all night continued until noon, then let up somewhat. We didn’t get heavy wind which was a blessing. I thought we had escaped all damage until a friend called to say that Rowe Road, which leads to Knott Road and our house ,was washed out. She said there was no way Henry would get to work on Monday. Later in the afternoon, when the rain was light we set off to survey the damage. Our bit of road looked fine, but the drainage ditches were tumbling streams. This freshet was bubbling off the hill from our field, into the ditch.
Towards the end of Knott Road where it joins Rowe Road we saw the first washout, and a tree hung up on the power lines. Fortunately, we still have power and phone service.
The was the first major washout we came to, just before the turn onto Knott Road.
Looking at that same washout from below you can get some sense of the water rushing over a newly revealed giant boulder in the road bed.
Just a few yards further down the road this is what we saw. We decided to end our travels in that direction.
This stream on the other side of Rowe Road is usually a sleepy trickle, but not today. My husband was able to check an on-line record of the flow of the Deerfield in Charlemont. The readings there are almost unbelievable. The river depth is measured at over 16 feet, instead of the normal 4 feet, and the cubic feet per second flow is 20,000 or possibly more, where the usual flow is 600 cubic feet per second.
Over the afternoon we have heard stories about terrible damage in the area, and do indeed count our blessings that End of the Road Farm came through relatively unscathed.