Crews work to repair road damage in Andover, Chester

By Shawn Cunningham
© The Chester Telegraph 2014

Clickable photo gallery is below the article. Photos by Shawn Cunningham, The Chester Telegraph


own road crews, VTrans and private contractors were busy Tuesday morning as they continued to put local roads back together after Monday’s torrential rains (Click here for Monday’s story.). In Andover, Simmonds Road was reduced to a field of boulders forcing resident Ron Theissen to stay in a hotel in Chester for the night. This morning an excavator was making slow progress up the half mile road, but Theissen expects he won’t make it home again tonight.

On Potash Brook Road in Chester, resident Jim Tornquist had begun cleaning up his yard and ruined garden. “It’s so discouraging, storm after storm and here I am cleaning up the mess again because there’s no place for the water to go.”

Chester Road foreman Graham Kennedy echoed that sentiment. “This is getting really old,” said Kennedy, whose crews were out until midnight on Monday and back at it this morning, “we’re repairing the same roads over and over.” Up Potash Brook from Tornquist, a series of town trucks ferried fill to washed out areas where a loader and a grader made the route passable.

In Andover, while one VTrans crew worked on the collapsed section of Route 11 just east of Hill Top Road, others worked to clear the underground culverts so standing water along the road could be drained instead of flooding over the pavement just east of Stigers Road. As a second suction unit arrived on the scene, Glen Massey of VTrans explained the work. “All the culverts along here are full of gravel,” said Massey, “we’re trying to clean them out all along this stretch of road.”

In Chester, the road leading to the sewer plant was undermined by the water rushing across the softball field and American Legion parking lot on Route 103. A portion of the road was buckled. As of this morning, town officials met with Southern Windsor County Regional Planning, which is accumulating the estimated repair costs for the three hardest hit areas – Chester, Windham and Andover. According to Julie Hance, assistant to town manager David Pisha, “If the repairs for these areas exceed $1 million, the state of Vermont can make application to the federal government for FEMA support.”  In addition to Potash Brook Road, there was heavy damage to Christmas Tree, Farrar, Kingsbury and Fenton roads.

On Facebook Monday night, Chester farmer Rick Bliss said that he lost 20 acres of hay and could lose another 25 to the continuing bad weather.

Maybe the strangest image from the storm was the propane tanks that came to rest among the Christmas trees on the south side of Route 11 just east of the Andover Road. On Monday, electric service to that area was cut because those tanks were leaking.

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  1. Waldmann family says:

    A huge and very heartfelt thanks to the Chester road crew, fire dept, private contractors and other volunteers who have been working so hard to repair roads, driveways etc. We sure appreciate you all year long but it’s times like these that make us realize what a great town we live in and that our crews are the absolute best!

  2. Kathy Bentley says:

    Thank you so much for your coverage. I didn’t know anything had happened until my parents called to tell me they were ok. After talking to them I searched the web looking for info and didn’t find anything. Then I remembered you guys and there was lots of info. Keep up the great work. I get your weekly newsletter which helps keep me connected even though I now live across the ocean.

  3. Dolores Kennett says:

    Thank you for your little paper. It is where I get my news of Chester and your coverage of this last flood was great.

  4. Jim Donlan says:

    I am sorry to hear and see the devastation that my adopted town is going through once again. My praises to the town employee’s and volunteers who care so much about their town.
    Many thanks to the neighboring communities that stepped up to the plate to help in this time of need. Chester really installed the sense of community in me when I lived there. God Bless Chester!!