Upper and Lower Norwich working together
Upper Valley residents are stunned this morning by news that much of Norwich, VT, was swallowed up by an enormous sinkhole. Even more surprising, scientists from Montshire are reporting that the section of town consumed by the unexplained geologic event is still intact and that all residents are fine, but do have concerns about their new lives as underground dwellers.
The sinkhole is approximately 2800 feet in diameter and about 750 feet deep. The hole impacts much of the central town including the library, Norwich Bookstore, Tracy Hall and the Marion Cross School. Dresden officials say that school will operate on a two-hour delay today due to the sinkhole.
"I'm thankful everyone is safe, but this is definitely going to take some figuring out. Luckily, Dan & Whit's has everything we need until we can get out of here, but I'm not sure how the surface dwellers will cope," said one of the newly elected selectboard members of Lower Norwich, on condition of anonymity.
The Upper Norwich Police Cadets were called in to help direct traffic around the sinkhole and keep people from getting too close to the edge. Residents were collaborating on a makeshift system of ladders and pulleys to keep the two communities connected for the short term, while town leaders debated the budgetary impact of more advanced elevator options.
Additional adaptations will be necessary, but most locals seem ready to tackle the new challenges. "Well, first priority is to figure out the impact on property taxes. And of course we'll need to split up the listserv now," said Grant Hawthorne, Lower Norwich resident. Others note that solar power will take a major hit 750 feet below the surface, but state leaders see a big opportunity to turn Lower Norwich into a regional center for geothermal innovation.