POINT AU ROCHE - The water levels on Lake Champlain have been rising steadily over the last three weeks, and Alice T. Sample has been watching them.
"It was very gradual in the beginning, but in this last week, it has been rising sometimes six inches a day," said Sample. "It's really come up tremendously."
As Sample stood on her back porch Thursday looking out at the lake, it was a view of the water much closer than should would have liked.
"Normally, you'd see this beautiful retaining wall," Sample said, motioning to her backyard. "It's about 75 feet out, but you can't see it now."
The retaining wall? Under water. The green grass and plants that Sample cares for on a regular basis? Gone.
It's the highest Sample said she's seen the lake rise in a long time.
"Craig [Sample's husband] said the water's the highest it's ever been since 1869," she said.
Sample's husband has been tracking the crest levels on Lake Champlain through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and received word the lake has crested over the 102.10 ft record.
"The highest we have ever seen was the 101.88 back in 1993," said Sample.
When that happened, it resulted in she and her husband deciding to have their house raised 40 inches with a new foundation created beneath it.
"This morning, we had ducks swimming up to the first step on our deck, investigating to see if there was any food. Right down there is where our house was before," said Sample, pointing to the bottom of the stairs to her deck. "If we hadn't raised the house, we'd be under water right now."
Though Sample doesn't have concerns about water coming into the first floor of her house, she does worry about water flooding her basement. More importantly, she has concerns about it affecting her home septic system and well.