White Mountain Deluge : October 30th

While I was working on posting my report about a fun hike to Hawthorne Falls with my friend Todd (click here for report & pics), a "little rain" storm came passing on through the White Mountains.  Heavy rain and high winds devastated the area with downed trees, flash floods, undermined roads, and loss of power.  Living on the Peabody River, it was quite nerve wracking throughout the middle of the night.

The heavy rain and high sustained winds started after midnight, we lost power around 2AM, even heavier rain followed this.  The Peabody River rose quickly, rising several feet within a couple of hours, almost breaching the retaining wall along our property.  The river sounded like being in a jet plane surrounded by constant thunder, only the thunder in this instance were the boulders being pushed/thrown through the extremely fast rapid current of the river, it made the house rattle and in the middle of the night this was quite terrifying.

Mercifully, daylight came at 7AM.  Soon after, the fire department said it was best we leave for the morning.  Whitney, Sarge, and I headed to North Conway, along the way we stopped at the Dolly Copp entrance where the water was flowing over the road.  After grabbing breakfast in NoCo, we drove the Kanc, stopped by Lower Falls and Lincoln Woods.  From here we made our way back to Gorham, but got side tracked through Bethlehem as crews were working ferociously to make sure the Little River didn't undermine the bridge on Route 3 in Twin Mountain.   Routes 302, 115, and 2 had numerous trees hanging on power lines or just smashed through them.

When we arrived home we were very happy to only have two inches of water in our basement, which we used a generator to pump the water out.  Around 10:30PM the power came back on.

What a crazy way to spend my two year anniversary of the closing on my dream home in the mountains!!

Here are pics that Whitney took throughout the day, and also a video on YouTube, but not great quality (click here for video)

USGS River Gauge for the Peabody River where it's measured a couple of miles away.

 Our backyard at 7AM, usually you can see a retaining wall made out of boulders which you can walk down to the river, as you can see here it's just at the top of the wall

Looking south up the Peabody River

Fire department out closely monitoring the retaining wall 

 Across the street Stony Brook Road was closed

The water ran over the road and undermined it, wrecking it

Stony Brook Road

The usually small Stony Brook Stream going crazy!

Entrance to Dolly Copp along Route 16

Lower Falls on the Kanc

Lower Falls 

Swift River looking east 

Lincoln Woods suspension bridge 

East Branch Pemigewasset River from the suspension bridge

 East Branch Pemigewasset River from 112

Suspension bridge over the East Branch Pemi River!

 Driving home we had to turn around just before hitting the residential area of Twin Mountain as crews were out trying to make sure the Little River didn't damage the bridge and road

there were blowdowns everywhere, this one was along Route 2 in Jefferson 

Back home we head across the street and walk the damaged Stony Brook Road

Both sides of the road were gone and the middle buckled in several spots 

 Big washout at the edge of this property

It's good to have a sense of humor when this stuff happens!

Looking up Mount Carter Drive

Crews came out and pushed the rubble out of the way and then laid dirt down.  Road was back open by nightfall and today they are working on it again to fix it.

Peabody River at 2PM 

 Looking south at 2PM, now you can see the retaining wall!

Tuesday 9AM, there is the lower end of the wall looking down river

Looking up river, levels are still a foot or two feet higher than normal but most of the wall is visible!


  1. Saw your post with link on VFTT. Thank-you for the pictures of the Pemi and Peabody...two rivers whose conditions say much about what might be happening unseen in the woods on hiking trails. After seeing your Lincoln Woods/Pemi pictures I fear for what has become of the Thoreau Falls bridge. Glad I visited it a few weeks ago to sadly say good-bye. CastIronRose

    1. Thanks, it was a powerful storm that surprised me to some extent. Whitney and her friend Elizabeth are hiking to the Thoreau Falls bridge today, so I'll post on Views with what the condition of the bridge is in, if they can get over to it.

    2. Good news, Thoreau Falls bridge is still in tact. It's beat up a little more than before, with sandy washouts surrounding it, but still alive and kicking! :)

    3. Oh! Thank-you so much for the intel! I had a burning desire to know! I don't know which direction they approached from...but I'm not a fan of high water crossings of Cedar Brk and/or Chrystal Brk or the many crossings in the Carrigan Notch/Stillwater/Nancy Pond Tr areas...or even worse, North Fork at Thoreau Falls. My hat is off to the ladies! They must've seen some awesome sights! Thanks again, CastIronRose, Alexandria, NH

  2. Wow, such damage up there ! We had rain, lots of wind/power outages and trees down here it CT. We had water issues with Sandy, I can relate to that ! Glad the retaining wall held and only 2 inches in the basement isn't too bad. Congrats on 2 years in your home ! - Wendy

  3. Holy #$%^, Chris! I'm glad you two made out relatively o.k. We did a short hike to Peaked Hill Pond on Sunday before all that happened. Hope Thoreau hods out long enough so we get once last chance at it.