A 63-year-old man has been identified as the state’s first death from recent widespread flooding after he hit his head while pumping out of his basement and became trapped under water.
Stephen Davol, 63, of Barre, a town of about 8,500 people in central Vermont, died Wednesday ‘as a result of a drowning accident’ at his home, Vermont emergency management spokesman Mark Bosma said.
Davol’s wife, Beverly Frost, said she and Davol were vacationing in New York state when they heard about the flooding and returned to try to save their home.
When they arrived at 3:30 a.m., they found their basement flooded, according to Yahoo News.
Davol started trying to get the water out and at one point Frost fell asleep.
Stephen Davol (pictured right), 63, has been identified as the state’s first death from the state’s recent widespread flooding after he hit his head while pumping from his basement and became trapped under water.
But when he woke up, he didn’t find her until he went down to the basement to find her face down in the water.
‘I couldn’t get him out,’ she said. ‘It was horrible.’
A medical examiner told Frost that her husband had likely hit her head in a ‘freak accident’.
‘Everybody loved him,’ added Frost.
U.S. Sen. Peter Welch of Vermont said in the statement, ‘Losing Vermonters is always painful, but it is especially so this week.
In a sad twist, Davoll was active on social media and his last Facebook post was sharing a video taken by another person of flooding rushing through the area.
Basma urged Vermonters to return to their homes and continue to take extra care to repair the damage.
The death was investigated by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in cooperation with the Barre City Police Department, the statement said. ‘Vermonters are urged to continue to take extra care during the latest round of storms and to return to their homes and repair damage.’
Vermont Emergency Management spokesman Mark Bosma said Davol, 63, died Wednesday of ‘a drowning accident at home’ at his home in Barre, a city of about 8,500 people in central Vermont.
Davol lived with his wife Beverley Frost and sister-in-law Barbara Pennell, who called his death a ‘terrible shock’.
In a sad twist, Daval was active on social media and his last Facebook post was sharing a video taken by another person of the flood rushing through the area.
Vermonters worked Friday to dry out homes and businesses damaged by historic flooding but kept a wary eye on the horizon with another round of storms forecast for the weekend.
Parts of the state received more rain Thursday and about 14,000 customers at the height of the storm. More rain is likely on Sunday and next Tuesday.
“We don’t know the extent of this storm,” Gov. Phil Scott said at a news conference.
Storm surges have exceeded two months’ worth of rainfall in some parts of the region this week, as Tropical Storm Irene swept through in 2011 and caused major flooding.
Officials called this week’s flooding the state’s worst natural disaster since the 1927 flood.
This is the second flood-related death this week stemming from a storm system and epic flooding in the Northeast.
The first was in upstate New York, where a woman was swept away by floodwaters in Fort Montgomery, a small Hudson River community about 45 miles north of New York City.
President Joe Biden on Friday approved Scott’s request for a major disaster declaration to provide federal aid for communities to recover.
A small tractor clears water from a business as floodwaters block a road in Barre, Vermont.
Floodwaters inundated cropland in Burlington’s Interval
Many communities have contacted Vermont emergency management officials to discuss their needs, but state officials said Friday they have yet to hear from about two to three dozen of them.
National Guard troops are being sent to contact them.
Along with roads, homes and businesses, farms took a big hit, with the floods starting only after many farmers had endured hard frosts in May.
State Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts said at a news conference that it is expected to ‘destroy a large portion of our produce and livestock feed.’
‘In our mountainous state, some of our most fertile farmland is in river valleys, and countless fields of corn, hay, vegetables, fruit and pasture were waterlogged and buried.’
It was too early to determine the extent of the damage, he said.
Meanwhile, Scott and other officials spoke about the many Vermonters who are volunteering to help in flood-hit areas.
‘I am inspired by the thousands of Vermonters, businesses and organizations who want to help. As we move towards recovery, we know we will need all the help we can get.’
Abandoned cars sit in the rubble after being washed away by floodwaters in Ludlow, Vermont
Jodi Kelly, left, practice manager at Stonecliffe Veterinary Surgical Center, back, and her husband, veterinarian Dan Kelly, use a canoe to move surgical supplies from the flood-damaged center
In Marshfield, a small community about 45 miles east of Burlington, the state’s largest city, the Marshfield Village Store was used as a temporary shelter overnight during this week’s flooding, housing about three dozen people.
On Friday, it was serving as a distribution point for clean water, as the loss of a water main left the city in need. And officials are still trying to reach people who may need help.
‘We’re going to start publicizing it more formally, if there are other people who are still not able to get the support they need, so we can get them equipment and volunteers, get emergency medicine, work on them. feature, is where we are right now,’ said store general manager Michelle Edelman McCormick.
As of Friday, about 5,200 people statewide had registered to help with relief efforts through the state’s emergency management agency and an online volunteer recruitment effort, Servermont director Phillip Colling said.
‘What we’re doing doesn’t begin to capture all the volunteers organized through local organizations, cities and informal networks, and we encourage those local efforts because they can often address critical needs more quickly,’ he said.
Some volunteers offer drives for charitable meals on wheels or take people to medical appointments. Others offered to help with general cleaning.
In the ski village of Ludlow in southern Vermont, Calcutta’s Restaurant was getting two trucks of food to prepare meals for first responders, volunteers and anyone else. Many were cleaning and repairing roads.
The large banquet room was set up with cots, water and toiletries for anyone who was displaced.
‘We need a lot of work to get back to normal,’ said Michael Reyes, who owns the restaurant and works for a hospitality group.
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