Surfing the Flood

By:  Peter
May 29, 2011 12:44 am | Category: General Interest, Quick Update, Summer

Like a lot of the US, Vermont had some pretty crazy weather this past week, major flash floods caused a lot of damage across the state. Here in downtown Burlington my street flooded as well, but fortunately didn’t cause any damage. In fact, it brought our whole neighborhood out to celebrate and play in a really awesome way.

While standing on my porch watching the street fill up, my neighbors, several of whom happen to be members of the UVM FST mentioned how cool it would be to skim-surf down the street.
A car gets swamped on Booth Street in Burlington

“Alright” I said, “Do it. I’ll get my camera.”

And with that, it was on like Donkey Kong.

We got a pretty good crowd going, cheering and splashing around.

I was using two strobes to light the surfers as they came through

The strobes can make some nice effects, even make it look like night, when the sun is still out

or you can dial it back a bit and let the sky in just a little

I’ll just let the images roll from here

An hour or so later I put my gear away, but the neighborhood kept playing, here’s the last shot I took, a pretty cool afternoon in the Old North End, despite the weather

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  1. Lionel Hutz
    wrote on May 29th, 2011 at 6:10 am  

    Shouldn’t we tag this “when life give you lemons make lemonade?”

  2. Teleskiqueen
    wrote on May 29th, 2011 at 7:02 am  
  3. Harvey44
    wrote on May 29th, 2011 at 8:30 am  

    Agree with TSQ – awesome.

  4. powder freak
    wrote on May 29th, 2011 at 11:55 am  

    This is why Burlington rocks… great adventure loving people. I miss that place. Not to mention the photography and attention to detail that probably went into a lot of these shots… good stuff, Pete!

    • Peter
      wrote on May 30th, 2011 at 7:13 am  

      thanks mang….and yes, Burlington rocks.

  5. Isisunit
    wrote on May 29th, 2011 at 8:01 pm  

    Hey Bone – were you indeed the oldest “kid” out there?? Looks like Maddie in the front I see, yes? Is Andy there also? And where is the wife old man? :-) Most important of all, why didn’t ya’ll call me, seeing as I’m kinda just around the corner as the drunken crow flies. . .

  6. MadPatSki
    wrote on May 29th, 2011 at 10:01 pm  

    Totally agree on Lionel and powderfreak comments on lemonade and photography.


  7. the red flame
    wrote on May 30th, 2011 at 11:28 am  

    Should have worn wet suits to protect them from toxins in flood waters…. from petrochemicals washed into it by drowned vehicles, basement fuel tanks, etc. to bacterias from sewage backed up into stormdrains, flood waters have dangerously high levels of toxic material no matter where. These young people have no idea about what health effects will befall them in the future.

    • streetskimmer
      wrote on May 30th, 2011 at 11:58 am  

      of course we know the toxin levels,we go to uvm.. pete thanks again for setting this all up and by setting up i mean the photo not the water! let me know when i can get the ones of me falling!

    • Peter
      wrote on May 30th, 2011 at 9:35 pm  

      So true Miss Red Flame, but if only we could have had your warning early! As of today over half the young people are sick, 2 have already perished. We will probably euthanize a few more tomorrow to end their suffering.

      Without the toxic blocking properties of neoprene wetsuits (which hold water against your skin btw, not block it) the young people were defenseless against the harms wrought by evil man made floods.

      The old people, however, were saved by the large doses antibacterial rot-gut whiskey.

      in other words, yup it was gross, it was muddy, and it was dirty. And it was fun. Life has a 100% mortality rate. We all die, do all we truly live? Kids (whether 5 or 50) should be outside with friends and neighbors having fun. damn the torpedoes, just take a shower after.

    • Lionel Hutz
      wrote on May 30th, 2011 at 11:54 pm  

      Not for nothing but you think the toxins in the water are any worse for the body than the average college weekend? From what I’ve seen and experienced in college and with college kids, I think its easier on my body to swim in a sea of toxins than drink with those UVM boys.

    • Anonymous
      wrote on June 2nd, 2011 at 9:39 am  

      Shit just got real!

  8. Porter Haney
    wrote on May 31st, 2011 at 5:27 pm  

    Great photos Pete. Looks like a wonderful time in BTV as always!

  9. Sunny
    wrote on June 1st, 2011 at 3:02 pm  

    Really enjoyed the photo essay of your spontaneous street festival. We have too little of this in our lives……. Totally concur with the lemonade and awesome photography comments.

  10. Barb
    wrote on June 5th, 2011 at 8:39 pm  

    Fantastic. I need to visit this site more often.

  11. crism
    wrote on June 13th, 2011 at 11:30 am  

    Carl Thornton sang a song about this at the Mystic Sea Music Festival this past weekend. I thought he was joking!

  12. Skipaccess
    wrote on May 22nd, 2013 at 11:08 pm  

    As always, Vermonters making the most of a bad situation; memories to carry with you as life returns to “normal”. The kids will say, ‘remember that night we surfed the street?’PRICELESS.

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