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UPDATED: Rising waters close area roads

THE NEW HAVEN River is just a few feet away from touching the underside of the bridge on River Road near, the intersection of Halpin Road in New Haven on Monday midday. Independent photo/John Flowers

ADDISON COUNTY — The deluge is soaking Addison County, but this area has not been affected as significantly as much of central Vermont, which has seen many rivers overflow their banks onto roads and into population centers.

On Tuesday morning, after some 36 hours of rainfall, Bristol’s Lower Notch Road was closed from 1820 Lower Notch to Many Waters Road. The town’s public works department was on the scene, according to the Bristol Police Department.

The public works crew also spent this morning removing trees, dirt and rock from Lincoln Road, where a section of Briggs Hill slid onto the roadway. The road is currently open, but police urge folks to drive with caution.

In Middlebury, the four roads that were closed on Monday — Blake Roy Road, 3 Mile Bridge Road, Shard Villa Road and Creek Road — remained closed Tuesday morning. By 2 p.m. Tuesday, all but Creek Road had reopened.

On Tuesday mid-morning, according to the National Weather Service, only the New Haven River at Brooksville (in New Haven where the river crosses Route 7) was near flood stage. Neither Otter Creek nor Lewis Creek flooded. See the latest here.

Nevertheless, the Otter Creek was still a sight to behold. Here’s a video of the swollen river raging over the falls in Middlebury Monday evening:

And here it is, from a different vantage point, on Tuesday morning:

The Vermont Emergency Management Department issued the following update Tuesday morning: 

Rivers are creating several flooding issues across the state this morning, even along those that have crested — it will take some time for rivers to recede. Montpelier and other communities are experiencing significant flooding.

Everyone is asked to stay away from impacted areas as travel is difficult and crews will soon be working on repairs.

Vermont’s swift water rescue teams have now performed more than 100 rescues throughout the state and are still very busy. Additional teams from Connecticut, Massachusetts and North Carolina are in state and assisting, and others are in route.

National Guard helicopters will be deployed to assist rescue teams who are conducting evacuations in the hardest hit and most remote areas that are not accessible by swiftwater teams.

Do not take any chances: Stay away from rivers and flooded areas. Keep yourself and your family safe by staying well clear of damaged and flooded areas. There are countless road washouts around the state, please respect all detours and never drive across a flooded road. If you seen a life-threatening situation then report it by dialing 9-1-1.

For a list of state road closures visit https://newengland511.org/. Interstate 89 northbound and southbound near exit 8 has re-opened. Northbound was limited to one lane.

Vermonters can track river forecasts and levels at water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=btv.

Residents are encouraged to register for a Vermont Alert account at www.vtalert.gov to receive up-to-the-minute safety warnings.

A Red Cross shelter is open at the Barre Auditorium in Barre. Several towns have also opened shelters, to find specific locations call 2-1-1.

The Agency of Transportation has closed the state rail trails due to flooding and potential hazards on the trails, including the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail, Delaware & Hudson Rail Trail, and Beebe Spur Rail Trail.

Many Vermont rivers are expected to crest overnight at flood levels, this will create dangerous flood conditions along effected waterways. Vermonters should be vigilant and aware of conditions as floodwaters rise; you can track river forecasts and levels at https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=btv.

The State Emergency Operations Center was activated on Sunday and will remain active during recovery.

For a complete forecast, visit the National Weather Service forecast site:

www.weather.gov/aly (Bennington and Windham counties)

www.weather.gov/btv (Rest of Vermont)

VEHICLES ON THE go on Route 7 East in Middlebury on Monday.
Independent photo/Steve James

FLOOD SAFETY TIPS

1. If rising water is approaching, leave.

2. Evacuate over high ground and plan that route now for any flooding.

3. Never drive or walk through floodwaters. Strong currents or unseen washouts can sweep you and your car away.

4. Turn off the circuit breaker in your home before you evacuate — if you can do so safely.

5. Have a licensed electrician inspect your electrical system before you once again occupy your home if it has been flooded.

6. If you are in a flood-prone area, or if you believe your home will be flooded, it is advisable to move valuables from your basement in case water enters your home.

7. Check your insurance coverage now, and then contact your insurance company if you have damage.

***

This story was posted on Monday, July 10.

Vermont girded for high waters Monday morning as drenching rain continued after a spate of wet weather over the past few weeks.

The Middlebury Highway Department on Monday morning announced that four of its roads had been temporarily closed due to high water caused by the current rainstorm.

They are:

• Blake Roy Road.

• 3 Mile Bridge Road, from Route 7 to Halladay Road.

• Shard Villa Road from 3 Mile Bridge Road to the Salisbury town line.

• Creek Road, from 3 Mile Bridge Road to the State Highway Garage.

Those roads are near the rising waters of the Middlebury River and Otter Creek, just passed its confluence with the Middlebury River.

For more information, contact the Middlebury Highway Department at 802-388-4045.

THE NEW HAVEN River is just a few feet away from touching the underside of the bridge on River Road near, the intersection of Halpin Road in New Haven on Monday midday.
Independent photo/John Flowers

Gov. Phil Scott this morning declared a State of Emergency in Vermont to enhance preparedness and expedite response to the major rainstorm, which began yesterday (Sunday, July 9). The National Weather Service has advised that excessive runoff from powerful storms may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Areas that experienced heavy rain last week are especially vulnerable.

The State Emergency Operations Center has been activated and Department of Public Safety, Agency of Transportation, and other state agencies and departments have been working around the clock to assist cities and towns in their response, officials said.

Swiftwater rescue teams have been staged in strategic locations throughout the state, should they be necessary to help with evacuations and rescues from floodwaters. Additional crews from out of state may be added in the coming days to assist with further operations.

State officials stressed Vermonters should monitor weather reports closely and be mindful of water levels on rivers and streams. Get to high ground if floodwaters approach. Never drive or walk through floodwaters, unseen currents or washouts can sweep you and your car away.

Anyone who needs to report a life-threatening situation should dial 9-1-1. If you need to report a developing, non-life-threatening emergency situation please contact your town.

For a complete forecast, visit the National Weather Service forecast site at weather.gov/btv.

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