Heavy rain prompts temporary closure of Route 125 last Thursday

EAST MIDDLEBURY — While local emergency responders spent some tense moments on Thursday, June 20, preparing for possible widespread evacuations and road washouts amid torrential downpours, a swollen Middlebury River forced only a temporary closing of Route 125 in Ripton and stayed within its banks in East Middlebury.
Middlebury Fire Chief David Shaw said Route 125 was reopened late Thursday evening after repairs to a few washouts after more than 3 inches of rain had washed across parts of the county. Route 125 had been closed to through traffic at the Sand Hill Bridge.
Meanwhile, East Middlebury residents breathed a collective sigh of relief that they weren’t forced out of their homes by the adjacent Middlebury River. Emergency responders carefully monitored the height of the river several times during the evening.
Three Mile Bridge was also closed for several hours due to high waters. It was back in circulation Friday morning.
Shaw thanked the many folks who helped during the storm, including fellow Middlebury firefighters, Colchester Technical Rescue, the Vermont Agency of Transportation and Middlebury Department of Public Works.
Local officials continue to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on a $1.7 million “East Middlebury flood mitigation project” intended to safeguard the East Middlebury village area from future flooding when major storms engorge the Middlebury River.
To the north, Bristol’s Eagle Park “got clobbered,” said Town Administrator Valerie Capels, but the town for the most part escaped unscathed.
“Upper Notch Road got hit a little bit, and there was a culvert on Lafrance Road that needed attention, but the town took care of it,” Capels said.
At midday on Friday, Bristol’s assistant road foreman Cale Pelland reported to Capels that he was not aware of any other issues in the town.

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