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Derby and Morgan residents experience flooding damage, high lakes from Sunday's rain

 A photo of mud and water covering a backyard of a blue house, with a broken trampoline in the foreground. The cloud in the sky reflects in the water on the ground.
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public
The backyard of Gisele Pion's house, who was among the Derby residents to experience serious flooding after Sunday night's heavy rain.

After being largely spared by last week’s flooding, some Derby and Morgan residents didn’t get so lucky Sunday night.

Gisele Pion, 37, lives along Route 105 in Derby, right across from where the Clyde River feeds into Lake Salem. On Monday she arrived home after a weekend away to find her yard and basement covered in sticky mud.

 A photo of a pink worm on top of mud.
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public
Worms and silt covered Gisele Pion's Derby backyard on Monday following flooding from where the Clyde River meets Lake Salem.

The basement is where Pion says her two boys, ages 11 and 12, have their bedrooms.

“We’re going to start with getting their mattresses gone, all the carpets, everything’s ruined down there. So one step at a time is what we’re doing today," she said. “I am feeling pretty numb. Yeah. I think I’m a little overwhelmed and in a fog."

Pion also runs her holistic wellness business, Namaste Healings, from home. She says she’s had to cancel appointments for at least two days.

"The good thing is, is I do a lot of self-care, and I meditate every day, and I'm very grounded, so that's why I feel probably not like I'm going nuts," she said. "It just stinks, because I'm a single mother that doesn't get help, and now I have to lose some money also dealing with this... I’m sorry for everyone that’s going through it.”

A photo of three people on the side of a road. One person is loading wood into a red truck, while another person is bending over the remnants of a wooden bridge. A third person is looking on.
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public
Andy Gosselin looks on as his nephew, Skip, and Skip's wife, Valerie, help reclaim the remnants of a bridge that was washed out of Gosselin's yard Sunday night by flooding.

Next door to Pion, almost-92-year-old Andy Gosselin managed to avoid damage to his home.

A thick layer of silt, however, covered his grassy backyard on Monday, and a swollen stream washed away a hand-built bridge anchored in by cement and steel pipes.

"It's all broken to pieces, but it's right there, they dug it out last night, the town of Derby removed it last night," Gosselin said.

His nephew, Skip, and Skip's wife, Valerie, helped retrieve the bridge and drag it back to the yard on Monday. Gosselin said he'd rebuild it.

"It was time to redo it, I guess," he said.

Gosselin has lived on this property for 55 years and says while it's flooded maybe eight or 10 times, it's never been quite this bad. He says there was 5 feet of water in his yard.

"This is the worst I've seen it here," he said.

 A photo of two men in brown lake water, their hands on pieces of a broken dock.
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public
Morgan resident Charles Evans, left, gets help with a broken dock on Monday from a friend who did not want to share his name with Vermont Public. Seymour Lake flooded with Sunday night's heavy rain.

Meanwhile in Morgan, residents woke up Monday to a flooded Seymour Lake.

By the early afternoon, the normally-clear waters turned brown with debris, and pieces of broken and submerged docks floated on the surface.

 A photo of a woman in a yellow shirt, standing next to a sandwich board about invasive aquatic plants.
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public
Bethany Howe, who is a part-time Morgan resident and greeter at the Seymour Lake boat access for the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources.

Bethany Howe is among those with beachfront property in town. Usually, she says, there’s about 50 feet of beach. But now the water was up to her foundation.

“We have a 20-foot boat, a jet ski, and a dock, and we woke up at 4:45 this morning and discovered none of it was there in front of our house," Howe said.

The Seymour Lake Association is asking boaters to be cautious and drive at no-wake speeds.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message.

Elodie is a reporter and producer for Vermont Public. She previously worked as a multimedia journalist at the Concord Monitor, the St. Albans Messenger and the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, and she's freelanced for The Atlantic, the Christian Science Monitor, the Berkshire Eagle and the Bennington Banner. In 2019, she earned her MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Southern New Hampshire University.
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