It was July when disaster struck Vermont. Flooding, heavy rain, and surprisingly, rainbows. I felt fortunate to enjoy rainbows during the floods. Twelve blocks and five stories above Lake Champlain, I felt safe. There weren’t any rivers rushing through UVM’s Central Campus. However, at home, it was worse. At my desk across the dorm from my roommate, I watched videos of the asphalt roads I used to get to school every day caving in as if they had been hit by asteroids. What was I to do? I was rather helpless at camp.

The summer program had scheduled a day for us to visit Oakledge Park along the waterfront Thursday the 13th, which was canceled the day before due to concerns about water quality. According to WCAX, nearly ten percent of Burlington’s wastewater began leaking into the Winooski River through a broken pipeline Wednesday. Instead, on Thursday we visited a different recreational park. There was a water fountain, but I used my judgment and avoided it. The bus ride home was uneventful and silent as we watched the polluted brown Winooski River rush through tinted windows.

I returned to my dorm on Thursday and registered for some post-flood volunteer email lists. It was the very least I could do. On the last night of camp, some friends and I sat in a circle. My mind began to wander until I started to think about everyone’s unique perspective on how they were affected by the flooding. Several people at camp were from Montpelier, which was underwater at the time. It occurred to me that people sitting right beside me might return home to find their homes flooded and damaged. 

Posted in response to the challenge Flood.



16 years old

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