Flood Of Memories: Our Readers Remember March 11, 1992

Rutland Herald, March 11, 2007

Jerry Kreitzer of Rutland was a member of the Vermont House in 1992:

I woke up that morning and couldn’t take my car to the Statehouse, so we had to walk down. We had to come in through the back, from the park side, to get into the building. We were watching the flooding come right down Main Street, from the front steps of the Statehouse.

Then we heard that the Vermont Historical Society building was losing files, so we all headed there to move the boxes and try to get them to higher ground so we didn’t lose our historical records. We were knee deep in water getting the boxes out to a higher level.

I remember people coming in boats down State Street—it was amazing to see that. It was surrealistic to watch that, to be part of that.

We just didn’t get out for a while; we stayed there and worked all day. What was neat was that people really pulled together. When you have things like that happen, people said, ‘How can I be helpful?’ It was neat to watch all the legislators digging through the water and trying to save as many documents as we could. Some didn’t get saved, as I remember.

{snip}

When I reached the house, I saw someone chopping the ice from around my canoe in the back yard. It turned out to be my neighbor, Mason Singer, and Fred Wilbur from Buch Spieler music store. Fred was trying to save audio equipment from the basement of the store. We had no idea how high the water was at that point. I told him to take the canoe and bring it back when he could. Unfortunately, he was unable to save a lot of things, but there are pictures of Fred in my canoe paddling up State Street.

Luckily, my daughter made it home from the middle school and my youngest daughter was at the neighbor’s house, so everything turned out well for us. We all went down the hill into town later in the day to see what was going on. It was so strange to see propane tanks floating down Main Street. My friends still laugh about me pushing on to work through 10 inches of water and not thinking about how I’d get back to Montpelier. I chalk it up to not having a second cup of coffee that morning! I can’t believe it’s been 15 years already.

{snip}

This was before cell phones, so the line of kids to call home was long. I offered as many rides as my car would fit. I was anxious to get home to Sara but soon heard I couldn’t get home through town.

I followed Liz Rome through Middlesex to my home. En route, we stopped any car we saw to share information. Michael and I dropped off neighborhood kids we had picked up. Their parents had no idea where they had been and were in tears. We ended up housing four of his friends who couldn’t get home.

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