Rescuers brace for more rain as relentless storms flood Northeast, Vermont hit hard

by Lucas Garcia

Rescue teams and local authorities in Vermont are preparing for further rain and flooding as relentless storms continue to wreak havoc in the Northeast. Heavy downpours have already caused fast-moving waters that have washed away roads, trapped residents, and disrupted travel in the affected areas.

Tragically, one person lost her life in New York while attempting to evacuate her flooded house. Thankfully, there have been no reported injuries or fatalities related to the flooding in Vermont. However, numerous roads, including those along the Green Mountains, have been closed. The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings and advisories spanning from the Massachusetts border to the Canadian border, covering a significant portion of the state.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that two dams are expected to release water overnight, which will likely lead to severe flooding downstream, affecting multiple towns in its path. Rescue crews from North Carolina, Michigan, and Connecticut have been assisting in reaching Vermont towns that were previously inaccessible due to the torrential rainfall.

Swift water rescue teams in Vermont have already conducted over 50 rescues, primarily in the southern and central regions of the state, as reported by Vermont Emergency Management on Monday night. Vermont Governor Phil Scott compared the current rainfall to that of Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, which caused significant damage and loss of life. The major difference this time is the prolonged duration of the rainfall, spanning multiple days, which raises concerns about additional waves of damage.

The state capital, Montpelier, has also experienced flooding, with knee-high waters inundating much of the downtown area, and further rises expected during the night. The Cavendish Baptist Church in Vermont has transformed into a shelter, where volunteers are providing support to affected individuals, including making cookies for the firefighters involved in rescue efforts.

Residents have faced harrowing situations, with some resorting to canoes to reach safety, as exemplified by Vermont Representative Kelly Pajala and her evacuation from a flooded apartment building along the West River in Londonderry. New England received the storm after it had already impacted parts of New York and Connecticut, where rainfall exceeded 8 inches by late Monday. The National Weather Service predicts additional rain in the coming days.

Tragically, a woman named Pamela Nugent lost her life in New York’s Hudson Valley while attempting to escape her flooded home in Fort Montgomery. Flash flooding caused boulders to crash into her house, damaging its walls. The storm has wreaked havoc on various regions, including West Point, where the U.S. Military Academy experienced over 8 inches of rain, resulting in debris and washed-out roads.

The extensive damage caused by the storm is estimated to amount to tens of millions of dollars. Highland Falls in New York, for instance, encountered nine inches of rain, leaving numerous streets impassable and some residents stranded in their homes. The storm has disrupted travel as well, leading to numerous flight cancellations at major airports such as Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark, and Logan. Amtrak temporarily suspended its service between Albany and New York.

Experts in atmospheric science explain that such destructive flooding events are becoming more frequent due to storms forming in a warmer atmosphere, resulting in extreme rainfall. Unfortunately, scientists predict that the additional warming expected in the future will only exacerbate this situation.

The storm’s impact on businesses has also been severe, as seen through the experience of Troy Caruso, who owns several establishments in Ludlow, Vermont. The town, with a population of about 800, has been severely flooded, causing damage to Caruso’s properties, including a supermarket, shopping center, steakhouse, and possibly a burger joint. The golf course he owns has also been significantly affected, with the tenth hole submerged underwater.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about flooding

What areas were affected by the relentless storms and flooding?

The Northeastern United States, particularly Vermont, experienced the brunt of the storms and subsequent flooding. Other affected areas included parts of New York and Connecticut.

Were there any casualties reported?

Tragically, one person lost their life in New York while attempting to evacuate their flooded house. However, there were no reported injuries or deaths related to the flooding in Vermont.

How long did the rainfall last and how severe was it?

Unlike previous storms such as Tropical Storm Irene, which lasted approximately 24 hours, this recent storm brought days of continuous rainfall. The rainfall was intense, with certain areas in Vermont receiving over 8 inches by late Monday.

Were there any significant infrastructure damages?

Yes, the flooding caused significant damage to infrastructure. Numerous roads, including those along the Green Mountains, were washed out and rendered impassable. The storm also impacted airports, leading to hundreds of flight cancellations, and disrupted train services.

Was there any assistance provided to the affected areas?

Rescue teams from various states, including North Carolina, Michigan, and Connecticut, were deployed to assist in reaching and rescuing individuals in Vermont towns that were cut off due to the flooding. Swift water rescue teams conducted over 50 rescues, primarily in the southern and central parts of the state.

Did climate change contribute to the severity of the storms and flooding?

Experts in atmospheric science suggest that storms forming in a warmer atmosphere, influenced by climate change, contribute to more frequent and intense rainfall, resulting in destructive flooding events. They predict that future warming will only exacerbate these situations.

More about flooding

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JohnDoe87 July 11, 2023 - 8:15 pm

wow, these storms rly messed up the northeast! floodings everywhere, roads gone, ppl trapped! scary stuff, hope everyone’s okay!

InfoSeeker23 July 12, 2023 - 2:37 am

any idea if there are more storms on the way? i heard the National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings, but is it gonna continue? gotta be prepared!

OutdoorEnthusiast July 12, 2023 - 5:28 am

sucks to hear about the golf course and restaurants getting wrecked. that’s gonna take a lot of work to fix. nature can be so unforgiving sometimes.

LocalResidentVT July 12, 2023 - 6:41 am

it’s heartbreaking to hear about the loss of life in New York. my thoughts are with the family. flooding is no joke, people. stay safe and look out for one another!


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