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Irene Closes Roads, Traps Tourists in White Mountains

Visitors to the Notchland Inn got a longer stay than they'd planned when bridge and road damage gave them no way to leave. And a 100-site campground was decimated when the Saco River flooded.

Hart’s Location, a town of less than 40 people nestled in the White Mountains, was extremely hard hit by Irene.

We wanted to talk with Ed Butler, co-owner of The Notchland Inn…but we found it difficult to reach him. Here’s what greeted us when we called.

“Thanks for calling the Notchland Inn. Unfortunately Irene has left us isolated for the next couple of days. We have a washed out road a little bit south of us and a washed out bridge a little bit north of us, so we’re not gonna be able to honor reservations for the next couple of days.”

But we were able to catch up with Butler on his cell phone, south of the Inn. He had joined a small crowd gathered near the washed out Sawyer Bridge on Route 302 to await Governor Lynch’s arrival by helicopter. NHPR’s Elaine Grant asked Butler to describe the havoc that the storm caused.