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Flooding damage in White River Junction was minimal, but residents bewildered, exhausted

 A photo of water in a river beneath a rusty bridge
Adeline Manning
/
Junction Arts & Media
Technicians from the U.S. Geological Survey said the White River was flowing faster on Tuesday than during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

On an assignment for a summer camp project, student journalists walked around White River Junction and spoke with people about how they’re feeling in the aftermath of the flooding. Here’s what they said.

We highly recommend listening to this story, but we've provided a transcript below.

Bill Nuekomm: I was with fire and rescue for about 12-13 hours yesterday. It was a hard day. Very hard.

Tobi Mueller: Bill Nuekomm is from South Reading, where he helped two residents escape from floodwaters earlier this week.

Bill Nuekomm: At one point we had to move a fire truck, we were blocking a road, ‘cause the bridges were washed out at both ends and we had to move a fire truck to higher ground so we didn’t lose the truck.

Adeline Manning: Here in White River Junction, the damage for the most part was minimal. For some people though, the storm was still scary.

Dawn Hudson: It was reminiscent of when Irene came through, but there’s been a couple areas that have been hit bad, but that was really the biggest thought on my mind was that, "Uh oh, we’ve got Irene coming again."

More from Vermont Public: The connection between extreme rain and climate change in Vermont

Rogelio Fojo: I respect nature a lot. And I see all this, just as a result of the climate change, that some people are denying, which is, I don’t know how they can do that, close their eyes. Because even me, that I am not familiar with this, I see all these changes,

Tobi Mueller: We met Rogelio Fojo on a bridge, while he was taking photos of the White River. He wasn’t the only one who was captivated by the water.

Benji: There was something I — it was pretty exciting and a little scary this morning. I noticed part of a bridge was like, kind of destroyed. There was kind of like on the side of the bridge, was kind of like a hole, it was just destroyed.

Adeline Manning: Benji is 8, and was here with his grandfather Bill Nuekomm — the first responder from South Reading.

Bill Nuekomm: I’m trying to take the day off here and spend a little time with my grandson, who was going to Farm & Wilderness day camp, but can’t get to there from here, so… And it’s closed. It’s been a… I’m more tired than anything.

Adeline Manning: He says there’s still a lot of work to do.

Additional reporting by Kristen Downey.

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