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House washed away by New Hampshire river after storm

Screenshot via Tom Babbit/Facebook

By Globe Staff 

A small home in Warren, N.H., was carried away by a choppy river Monday, before it smashed into a nearby bridge as people along the river bank watched in astonishment.

Thomas Babbit, 56, took a video of the quaint one-story house after it appeared to fall into the Baker River and then sail down stream. When it met the bridge, the house churned in the water, making crushing sounds against the span like a tin can in a garbage disposal.

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The scene looked like something from a disaster film. The video, posted to Facebook, quickly went viral.

Babbit said the first words out of his mouth as he watched the situation unfold were “Holy [expletive].”

“It was bad,” he told the Globe in a telephone interview from his home down the road. “Just watching it — it was just horrible, it really was.”

The Globe was unable to reach the owners of the house, which Babbit said he believes is used during the summers or for vacation. Calls to Town Hall and the Warren Police Department were not immediately returned.

Babbit said as the river swelled after Sunday’s powerful storm it started to eat away at the land surrounding the home.

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He said something similar happened following a storm in July, but the home was spared. Baker said the homeowners, who were not on the property at the time of Monday’s incident, did some riverbank repairs after the storm in the summer. Unfortunately, “that did not hold up,” he wrote on Facebook.

“That house in the last couple years has lost a couple hundred feet of frontage,” he said. “The way the river had changed after the last flood, it was very close to the house.”

Babbit said he “had a feeling” the house was “going to go,” and that’s why he went to the riverbed on Monday.

“Sure enough, I went down there, and a couple minutes after, it went,” he said. “Mother Nature.”


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com
Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.