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Vermont floods have led to more than 100 rescues, officials say

The rain across parts of New England will be “slow to subside and dissipate” as “significant flooding remains possible,” forecasters said.

Coverage on this live blog has ended.

Millions of people in New England are under flood watches this morning as torrential rains pounded the region, causing major flooding in Vermont, where more than 100 rescues have been made, forecasters said.

Videos showed streets transformed into rivers in Vermont in what authorities warned was "life-threatening" flooding.

Torrential rains across parts of New England will be "slow to subside and dissipate" as "significant flooding remains possible," the National Weather Service said.

Flood watches are expected to remain in effect for much of the region throughout the day.

What to know about the severe weather

  • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said last night that some parts of the state had worse flooding than in 2011 during Tropical Storm Irene, which destroyed bridges, homes and roads.
  • Downtown Montpelier was flooded overnight, prompting officials to close the section of Vermont's capital until noon today.
  • A woman in her 40s was swept away by rapid waters in Orange County, 60 miles north of New York City, as she sought higher ground with her dog.
  • Though the heavy rain is ending across New England, 2 million people remain under flood alerts today.

76d ago / 7:12 PM UTC

All flood watches in New England expire

All the flood watches in New England have expired as of this afternoon, but many waterways remain swollen and in flood stage, especially in Vermont.

The Winooski River at Montpelier is now receding after cresting above 21 feet this morning, 6 feet above flood stage and the second highest level recorded for the river.

The river's water level is expected to finally fall below major flood stage by this evening but numerous roads, properties, residences and businesses have been washed out.

The Lamoille and the Missisquoi rivers are also receding after cresting this morning.

After the region was battered with powerful rains since Sunday, the downpour has finally ended.

76d ago / 6:36 PM UTC

Vermont governor says he hiked to work due to 'impassable' roads

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott shared photos of himself hiking this morning to get to work as the roads around his home were "completely impassable."

"Grateful for the @VTVast snowmobile trail network, which I was able to hike through to get to an open road and on to our emergency response center," he tweeted.

76d ago / 6:04 PM UTC

Connecticut urban search and rescue team has rescued 5 people and 3 pets in Vermont

Connecticut’s urban search and rescue team deployed in Vermont has so far rescued five people and three pets, the state’s department of emergency management said. 

The department shared photos showing rescue crews along the swollen Winooski River, showing the dangerously high water levels. 

76d ago / 4:26 PM UTC

Dam in Montpelier nearing capacity

The waters in the Wrightsville dam in Montpelier, Vermont, are still rising and are approaching just 1 foot from the spillway, the police department said this afternoon. 

“What does that mean? Every additional foot of water that goes over the spillway doubles the amount of water entering the City from the dam," it said.

City Manager William Fraser warned last night of a “potentially dangerous situation,” noting that if water in the dam exceeds capacity, the first spillway will release water into the North Branch River. 

“This has never happened since the dam was built, so there is no precedent for potential damage. There would be a large amount of water coming into Montpelier, which would drastically add to the existing flood damage,” he said.

76d ago / 3:56 PM UTC

Here are all the storm response assets mobilized in Vermont

As officials scramble to assess the damage in flooded Vermont, 13 state swift water teams have been activated, along with the state's urban search and rescue team.

Michael Cannon, the Vermont urban search and rescue program coordinator, said today that six other out-of-state entities, including state and federal urban search and rescue teams, are also operating in Vermont.

Five rotary wing aircraft are joined the efforts — two with hoist capability, which will help with rescues in areas that are hard to reach. 

“We are operating 24 hours a day and we have been since 3 p.m. Sunday,” Cannon said. 

“This is going to be a very long term search and rescue operation, I expect it to take at least several days, if not longer," he said. "As the sun has begun to shine, we ask that you please do not ignore signage, we ask that you not venture to the waterways and, again, this is an extremely dangerous situation around any of these waterways.” 

76d ago / 3:55 PM UTC

No injuries or deaths reported in flooding in Vermont, more than 100 rescues done

Vermont officials said at a briefing today that there have been no injuries or deaths reported so far in the extreme floods.

Vermont's public safety commissioner, Jennifer Morrison, stressed that storm response efforts are in its "earliest stages."

“Rivers are creating severe flooding issues this morning, even along those that have not yet crested. It’ll take some time for rivers to recede,” she said, with the Montpelier, Barre area and Ludlow, Londonderry and surrounding towns hit the hardest. 

So far, there have been 117 rescues, more than 60 evacuations from flooded homes, businesses or vehicles, and 17 animals have been rescued, according to Michael Cannon, the Vermont urban search and rescue program coordinator. 

"We are still in a dangerous part of this disaster, we are preforming active rescues as we speak," he said. "We still have reports of people trapped in flooded homes and vehicles."

76d ago / 2:44 PM UTC

Downtown Montpelier seeing ‘slight’ reduction in water levels

In a 10 a.m. update, the Montpelier Police Department in Vermont said the downtown area is seeing a reduction in water levels, but at a pace “slower” than initially projected. 

The city will extend the downtown travel ban to 3 p.m., police said.

“Reminder: please stay out of the downtown area, it is not safe,” Police Chief Eric Nordenson said. 

The department also shared a photo of the swollen Wrightsville dam, saying there's been no "significant change" in its water level.

76d ago / 2:43 PM UTC

2 dams in Vermont no longer expected to 'release large amounts of water'

The Ball Mountain dam in Jamaica, Vermont, and the Townshend dam in Townshend and Windham in the state are no longer expected to “release large amounts of water over the spillways in the next 48 hours,” the New England District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said today. 

“Water will still be released from the dams, but in smaller amounts than previously anticipated,” it tweeted. 

While many river levels in the area have peaked, they’re beginning to recede. 

While authorities are bracing for more rain over the next 72 hours, the district said “we are actively managing the reservoirs to provide capacity to hold the water.” 

76d ago / 2:42 PM UTC

More than 9 inches of rain recorded in parts of Vermont

Torrents of rainfall drenched Vermont yesterday, with 9.05 inches recorded in Plymouth, 8.66 inches in Mt. Holly, and at least 30 locations recording more than 6 inches of rain, according to the weather service station in Burlington

The Winooski River in Montpelier crested at 20.8 feet, 5.8 feet above flood stage, at 12 a.m., then rose a little more to just more than 21 feet at 8 a.m., marking the second highest crest on record. That’s more than a foot and a half higher than crest levels during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and the highest water levels in almost 100 years. 

Though the heavy rain is ending across New England, 2 million people remain under flood alerts today as rivers remain swollen and in some places in major flood stage, it will take time for the flooding to recede 

76d ago / 2:04 PM UTC

New Hampshire sends swift boat rescue crews to Vermont

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu tweeted today that the state has dispatched swift boat rescue crews “to help with rescue efforts in VT.” 

Black Hawk helicopters will deploy “soon” as well, he said. 

New Hampshire was also impacted in the rains and floods, but not as much as its New England neighbors. A flood watch was in effect overnight and ended early this morning. 

76d ago / 1:24 PM UTC

Vermont city relocates dispatch after department building floods

The police department in Montpelier, Vermont, has relocated dispatch, police and fire operations to a water treatment plant in Berlin after fierce flooding penetrated the department’s basement, city hall and the fire department. 

Today, locals in parts of Vermont woke up to severe flooding, but repairing the damage and getting to the people has proved challenging. 

The police department said in a morning update that three radio towers in Washington County used to dispatch the fire department and ambulances “are currently not functional,” and the Wrightsville Dam water levels are increasing and could possibly spill over and impact the downtown area. Water rescue teams are in position in the city. 

Chief Eric Nordenson said all first responders “are at max capacity” and urged the public to stay out of the downtown area and off city roads. 

Flooding in downtown Montpelier, Vt., on Monday, July 10, 2023.
Flooding in downtown Montpelier, Vt., yesterday.John Tully / The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Our rescue crews, DPW staff, dispatchers and first responders are spread very thin and will need time to assess the damages,” he wrote. 

76d ago / 1:11 PM UTC

Photo: Heavy rain floods road in Chester, Vermont

Image: Heavy Rains Cause Catastrophic Flooding In Southern Vermont
A flooded road in Chester, Vt., yesterday.Scott Eisen / Getty Images
76d ago / 1:11 PM UTC

Connecticut deploys search and rescue team to Vermont

Connecticut is deploying the state’s search and rescue team to Vermont for help as it reels from severe floods. 

Gov. Ned Lamont authorized the deployment, which will see eight members assist with swift water rescue missions in the “on-going catastrophic flooding,” according to the state’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Department. 

76d ago / 12:22 PM UTC

Vermont state offices closed today

All Vermont state offices are closed today in the wake of intense rainfall, flooding and roads washed out across the region. 

Employees whose duties allow for remote work “are expected to continue to Telework,” the Vermont Agency of Administration said in a release.

State employees designated as “essential personnel for reduced workforce situations” such as corrections, public safety and congregate care facilities are exempt from the closure and should “report to work as normally required,” according to the release. 

State offices will reopen for first shift tomorrow.

76d ago / 12:06 PM UTC

'Sunday was a complete nightmare': N.Y. county official

Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus described Sunday's torrents of rain and flash flooding that hit New York's Hudson Valley as “a complete nightmare for us.”

“If you responded as a first responder, the roads literally deteriorated after you came in. And we were pretty much trapped there,” he said on NBC News Now on getting stuck in the Highland Falls area.

Now Orange County is in "repair and assessment" stage, focusing on fixing up roads and assessing the bridges as the floodwaters are receding.

He said an emergency shelter has been set up as “many people in that entire region had significant damage to their homes and businesses.”

The Hudson Valley had some respite yesterday, as heavy storms hit Vermont.

76d ago / 11:49 AM UTC

Drone video shows flooded southern Vermont town of Ludlow

76d ago / 11:02 AM UTC

In an aerial view, water covers residential property on Route 11 after heavy rain yesterday in Londonderry, Vermont.

Heavy Rains Cause Catastrophic Flooding In Southern Vermont
Scott Eisen / Getty Images file
76d ago / 10:29 AM UTC

More than 8,000 utility customers without power in Vermont

More than 8,000 utility customers were without power in Vermont early this morning, according to an online tracker.

At least 8,300 utility customers were impacted by outages as of around 6:30 a.m. ET, according to the online tracker

76d ago / 10:09 AM UTC

A man walks through floodwaters, carrying his belongings out of a home in Bridgewater, Vermont, yesterday:

Heavy rain drenched part of the Northeast, washing out roads, forcing evacuations and halting some airline travel. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
A man carries belongings through floodwaters from a home in Bridgewater, Vt., on Monday. Hasan Jamali / AP
76d ago / 10:07 AM UTC

N.Y. had more than 8 inches of rain, but worst considered over, governor says

More than two dozen sections of highways and state routes in New York state were closed due to heavy rain last night, the governor said, after more than 8 inches of rain fell over two days.

“While much of the storm has passed through New York, it’s critical to remain vigilant,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement last night.

A woman in Orange County, New York, died as she sought higher ground during flooding Sunday, officials said.

Bridge inspection teams were also dispatched to look at structures in the wake of the flooding, among other assistance, the governor’s office said.

76d ago / 9:41 AM UTC

Vermont flooding compared to Tropical Storm Irene

Vermont’s governor said last night that some parts of the state had seen flooding worse than in 2011 during Tropical Storm Irene, a historic storm that destroyed bridges, homes and roads.

“Flooding in parts of Vermont have surpassed what was experienced during Tropical Storm Irene, and rivers are expected to continue rising through the night. Stay away from waterways,” Gov. Phil Scott tweeted.

Irene began as a hurricane that struck the Caribbean before making landfall in North Carolina in August 2011. By the time it reached Vermont, it was a tropical storm.

Irene caused catastrophic inland flooding in Vermont, as well as in New Jersey and Massachusetts, researchers at the National Hurricane Center wrote in a subsequent report. More than 40 people died in Puerto Rico and the continental United States. A state report said six people died in Vermont. The weather service said Irene ranked as the second-worst natural disaster in Vermont’s history.

76d ago / 9:41 AM UTC

As water is expected to recede, Montpelier is closed downtown

The city of Montpelier is urging business owners to have patience, but the downtown section of the city is closed until noon today after flooding.

The swollen Winooski River and rainfall flooded the area. Water is expected to recede as the river crests at major flood stage.

“We know that business owners will be anxious to check out their stores but we urge patience,” the city said in a statement. “Damage is unlikely to get worse between 8 AM and noon as water levels drop.”

Officials want to inspect safety issues as water recedes in the city of around 8,000. The Winooski could crest before it starts to recede, according to the weather service forecast.

76d ago / 9:41 AM UTC

Torrential rains to continue across New England

Millions of people in New England are waking up under flood watches this morning as torrential rains pound the region, causing major flooding in Vermont, forecasters said.

Torrential rains across parts of New England will be "slow to subside and dissipate" as "significant flooding remains possible" across the region, forecasters said.

Flood watches will remain in effect for much of the region through today, the weather service said.