By Lisa Latke and John Minchillo – The Associated Press
ANDOVER, Vermont (AP) — A storm that brought up to two months’ worth of rain in two days across Vermont and other parts of the Northeast left stranded Tuesday in waters including the state capital, where a dam was just upstream. caused further flooding in areas where There is a risk of overflow.
Officials said the floods had already caused tens of millions of dollars in damage and would cause more damage. Flooding of the Winooski River dam in Montpelier could flood the downtown block, which is already waist-deep in flooding. .
“Flood levels continue to rise in some locations, including the capital, beyond levels seen during Tropical Storm Irene,” Vermont Governor Phil Scott said. In August 2011, Eileen killed six people in Vermont, washed away the foundations of homes, damaged or destroyed more than 200 bridges and 500 miles (805 kilometers) of highways.
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The sun was out on Tuesday, with even more sunshine expected on Wednesday. However, more rain was expected on Thursday and Friday.
“We are not out of the woods yet,” Scott said. “This is not over yet.” He said Tuesday morning he had to hike through the woods to get to the state emergency response center because the roads around his home were impassable. Tweeted.
A woman was washed away in New York. There are no reports of injuries or deaths related to Vermont’s floods, and Rapid Water Rescue Teams of National Guard helicopter crews have made more than 100 rescues, the Vermont Emergency Management Department said Tuesday.
According to Mike Cannon of Urban Search and Rescue in Vermont, that includes an “extremely dangerous rescue” by a visiting New Hampshire team of a person who decided to drive around a barricaded road. It is said that “The car was swept off the road and almost fell into the river,” he said, urging drivers to beware of the road closure.
Dozens of roads and highways were closed, including many along the spine of the Green Mountains, and flash flood warnings and advisories were issued in most states from Massachusetts to Canada.
Downtown Montpelier, a city of 8,000, was swamped between the Capitol and the Winooski River. Montpelier Mayor Bill Fraser has warned that the Wrightsville Dam, a few miles north, may exceed capacity for the first time.
“There will be a large influx of water into Montpelier, greatly increasing the existing flood damage,” he said, adding that there were few evacuation options left. “People in dangerous areas may want to go upstairs in their homes.”
Just before noon on Tuesday, Montpelier police said the water level had risen to within a foot of the top of the dam, doubling the inflow into the city for every foot over the spillway.
Several rescue teams were deployed in Montpelier, and dispatch, police and fire services were relocated to the water treatment plant after city hall, police and fire stations were flooded. Police Chief Eric Nordenson said the radio towers used for emergency calls were also out of action.
Shelters were set up in churches and town halls, but worsening flooding forced at least one to close. It is difficult to get food and water to his 200-plus people who are sheltering in the Barre Municipal Auditorium.
“We’re trying to find a way to get supplies to them,” said John Montez, American Red Cross Regional Disaster Officer for Northern New England.
The slow storm hit parts of New York and Connecticut on Sunday before reaching New England. Some areas had 7 to 9 inches (18 to 23 centimeters) of rain by Monday night. A town in southwestern New Hampshire experienced severe flooding earlier this week, washing away roads.
Sid Straw, who was trapped in his home near the small town of Weston, said he appreciated Tuesday’s sunshine but still had water in his basement and a crumbling driveway that reminded him a little of the Grand Canyon.
“You can walk out of the broken driveway and onto the few remaining dirt roads,” she said.
The Connecticut River, swollen by heavy rains in Vermont, is expected to pass the flood stage Wednesday in Hartford and the southern towns, causing minor to moderate flooding, according to the National Weather Service.
President Joe Biden, who attended the annual NATO summit in Lithuania, declared a state of emergency in Vermont and authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide assistance.
FEMA has deployed a team to Vermont with emergency communications equipment and stands ready to continue supplying shelters if requested by the state. The agency is also monitoring floods in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire, regional spokesman Dennis Pinkham said Tuesday.
“Please stay safe and follow safety procedures,” White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday.
Road workers cleared debris on Tuesday and Interstate 89, which runs along the river between Montpelier and Middlesex, reopened. Rescue teams from North Carolina, Michigan and Connecticut joined Vermonters in arriving in a town that had been isolated since heavy rains hit the state.
One of the hardest-hit areas was New York’s Hudson Valley, where a woman identified by police as Pamela Nugent, 43, died while trying to flee her flooded home in the Fort Montgomery community with her dog. bottom.
The U.S. Military Academy at West Point was hit by more than 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain, causing debris to slide down some roads and wash away others.
“We had nine inches of rain in the area,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said at a press conference on a muddy street in Highland Falls, just south of the Academy on the West Bank of the Hudson. “They call it a ‘once in a thousand years’ event.”
Atmospheric scientists say such devastating flooding events will become more frequent as storms form in the warmer atmosphere, and rising global temperatures will make the situation even worse.
Minchillo reported from Highland Falls, New York. Kathy McCormack of Concord, New Hampshire. Michael Hill of Albany, New York. Contributions were made by Marc Pratt and Steve LeBlanc of Boston.
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