Floods Devastate Vermont and Saturate Northeastern US; Storm Recedes

by Sophia Chen
Vermont Flooding

A rainstorm equivalent to two months of precipitation has wreaked havoc in Vermont and saturated the Northeastern United States. The storm began to recede on Tuesday, though it left in its wake communities cut-off due to rising waters, including significant routes to the state capital.

Vermont flooding has resulted in the closure of numerous roads, particularly around the Green Mountains, despite no reported injuries or fatalities, according to emergency officials. The National Weather Service has issued warnings and advisories for flash floods across the state, stretching from the Massachusetts border to Canada.

The slow-traveling storm first hit parts of New York and Connecticut on Sunday, with a resulting fatality in New York due to flash floods.

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While attending the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, President Joe Biden declared an emergency in Vermont, authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to spearhead disaster relief operations.

White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, urged citizens in affected regions to adhere to safety guidelines during a briefing on Tuesday.

Up to 9 inches of rainfall was recorded in several communities by Monday night, causing significant flooding, including in Montpelier, the state capital. Notably, Interstate 89 was closed in both directions, significantly impacting traffic.

Montpelier Town Manager, Bill Fraser, raised concerns about Wrightsville Dam’s capacity. He cautioned that if the dam overflows, it would exacerbate the existing flood damage, with limited evacuation options left.

Swift water rescue teams from North Carolina, Michigan, and Connecticut have been deployed to assist the affected areas, performing over 50 rescues predominantly in the southern and central regions of Vermont.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott likened the situation to Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. Unlike Irene, however, this storm has been ongoing for days. Shelters were established in churches and town halls to accommodate those displaced.

Clean-up activities are already underway in New York and Connecticut, while rain in northern Vermont is forecasted to lessen by Tuesday. However, additional rainfall is anticipated for Thursday.

One of the most impacted regions was New York’s Hudson Valley. There, Pamela Nugent, 43, tragically lost her life attempting to flee her flooded home.

The storm has already inflicted tens of millions of dollars in damages, with hundreds of flights cancelled in New York and Boston. Amtrak service between Albany and New York was temporarily halted.

Troy Caruso, a local business owner in Ludlow, Vermont, reported extensive damage to his establishments, including a golf course, multiple restaurants, and a motel. He described the town as “flooded beyond belief.”

Atmospheric scientists warn that these destructive flooding events, stimulated by storms in a warming atmosphere, will worsen with the projected increase in global temperatures.

This story was reported from Highland Falls, New York, by Minchillo, with contributions from Kathy McCormack in Concord, New Hampshire; Michael Hill in Albany, New York; and Mark Pratt and Steve LeBlanc in Boston.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Vermont Flooding

How much rain has Vermont received from the storm?

Vermont has experienced a downpour equivalent to two months’ worth of rainfall.

Have there been any reported fatalities due to the flooding in Vermont?

No fatalities or injuries have been reported in Vermont due to the flooding as of now.

What is being done to help those affected by the flooding?

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been authorized to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide assistance. Swift water rescue teams have also been deployed and shelters established in local churches and town halls.

What impact has the storm had on transport infrastructure?

Many roads have been closed, including significant routes like Interstate 89. Additionally, hundreds of flights were cancelled in the New York and Boston area, and Amtrak service between Albany and New York was temporarily suspended.

How does the storm’s impact compare to previous storms in the region?

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has compared the storm to Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 in terms of rainfall. However, this storm has been ongoing for days, unlike Irene which lasted about 24 hours.

What are the future predictions regarding such destructive flooding events?

Atmospheric scientists have warned that these destructive flooding events, driven by storms in a warming atmosphere, are expected to worsen with projected increases in global temperatures.

More about Vermont Flooding

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GreenMountainGal July 11, 2023 - 5:12 pm

its crazy how much damage water can do in such a short time. Hoping everyones okay out there.

JayZ99 July 11, 2023 - 9:17 pm

Just think, global warming isn’t making this any better. We got to get serious about climate change guys!

TommyV July 11, 2023 - 11:50 pm

roads are a mess, 89 is closed. stay home if you can, not worth the risk.

Mike_D July 12, 2023 - 5:00 am

This is nuts, ive never seen rain like this in vermont. Stay safe everyone!

CindyT July 12, 2023 - 6:24 am

Irene was bad, but this feels worse, maybe because its just going on for days…

Vermont_Native July 12, 2023 - 6:53 am

Shout out to all the rescue teams and volunteers. Real heroes!


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