NH town thanking others after heavy rains bring need for one of 'most dangerous' rescues
Campton-Thornton Fire Rescue is drying out and thanking surrounding towns after Saturday's flooding kept the department busy for over 14 hours.
The department said the calls started around 5 p.m. for washouts and flooding, mostly in Thornton. Crews realized how quickly the waters were rising when around 6:30 p.m., a call came in from a resident trapped in their home by moving water in the Mill Brook Valley.
While responding, crews found water across the roadway in several locations and the area between Covered Bridge Road and Jacobs Lane became impassable. As they were returning to the station, they aided two people crossing a slower section of moving water after the pair told crews they would cross without them against the crews' recommendation.
The largest rescue operations of the night came at Branch Brook Campground.
Around 11 p.m. several calls came in for people stranded in the lower fields of the campground. The department deployed Boat 1 and rescued approximately 30 to 40 people, who were unable to cross the chest deep water. The department said the campground had advised people to leave earlier in the day.
Boat 1 then conducted a secondary search of the area, encountering high currents and debris in an open field section. The department was told no one was beyond that section and called off further efforts because conditions were rapidly deteriorating.
However, at 2:09 a.m. crews were called back to the campground where the Miller snowmobile trail enters after two campers woke up to find their air mattress floating. They managed to climb on top of their picnic table along with a dog to wait for rescue crews.
During the rescue, another call came in for two more people trapped at a site near the first victims. Multiple alarms had to be called due to the dangerous situation and at one point a mayday was called after two rescue personnel could not return back to their crew. It was later canceled. Eventually, crews were able to rescue all victims who were evaluated by Lin-Wood EMS and Stewart's Ambulance. The victims refused treatment and transport.
Campton-Thornton Fire Rescue said it is one of the most dangerous rescues the department has ever pulled off and is thanking the following departments for all the help:
Plymouth Fire Rescue
Woodstock Fire Department
Ashland Fire Department
Holderness Fire Department
New Hampton Fire Department
Bristol Fire Department
Rumney Fire Department
Franklin Fire Department
Tilton-Northfield Fire & EMS
Sanbornton Fire Department
Campton Highway Department
Thornton Highway Department
Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid Dispatch
Plymouth Police Dispatch
NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management
NH Fish and Game
Grafton County Sheriff's Office
During the rains, Mill Brook swelled to levels close to when Tropical Storm Irene hit the area in 2011.
Saturday was the second busy day in a row for Campton-Thornton Fire Rescue. On Friday, the department responded to two people stranded after their kayak over turned.