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Heavy flooding hits Vermont as New England braces for more rain

Close to 10 inches of rain fell yesterday in New York’s Hudson Valley, radar showed — the amount that usually falls throughout the three months of summer.

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As many as 11 million people in New England were still under flood watches today after a summer's worth of rain fell in parts of New York, forecasters said.

Flash flood warnings also remained for much of Vermont, and its capital city, Montpelier, was experiencing flooding in its downtown.

“Dangerous, widespread flash flooding from excessive rainfall is expected across New England through Tuesday morning; Highest risk for Vermont with expected impacts to transit routes," the National Weather Service warned.

Close to 10 inches of rain fell yesterday in New York's Hudson Valley, radar showed — the amount that usually falls throughout the three months of summer.

Warnings last night had applied to the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. 

A 1,000-year rain event

  • Downtown Montpelier, the capital of Vermont, was flooded tonight. The National Weather Service warned the city and area could see "significant to catastrophic flooding."
  • There have been more than 50 rescues by swift-water teams in Vermont as of 9 p.m. today, state emergency management officials said.
  • The U.S. Military Academy West Point recorded 6.96 inches of rain in three hours — a 1-in-1,000-year rain event for the location.
  • Reading, Pennsylvania, had its wettest July day on record yesterday, with 5.35 inches of rain.
  • 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.
  • In New England, rainfall rates may exceed 2 inches per hour.

More than 50 rescues in Vermont, state says

There were more than 50 rescues by swift-water teams in Vermont today as the state deals with drenching rain and flooding, state emergency officials said.

Most of the rescues were in the towns of Londonderry, Weston, Bridgewater, Andover, Ludlow and Middlesex, Vermont Emergency Management said in a 9 p.m. storm update.

Many rivers were expected to crest overnight at flood levels, the department said.

In Montpelier, downtown flooded and the Winooski River was at major flood stage, at around 20.8 feet as of shortly after 11 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. It was forecast to crest and start decreasing tomorrow.

Biden approves Vermont emergency declaration

President Joe Biden today approved an emergency declaration for Vermont after the state suffered heavy rains and flooding that, in addition to other cities, sent water into the capital, Montpelier.

More than 9 inches of rain fell, and downtown Montpelier flooded. Residents were told to stay off roads, and part of Interstate 89 was closed.

There had been more than 50 rescues by swift-water teams by 9 p.m. yesterday, officials said. Gov. Phil Scott said yesterday that flooding in some parts of the state surpassed that suffered in 2011 during Tropical Storm Irene.

Biden's approval of an emergency declaration allows for federal aid, and it authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief.

Interstate near Montpelier closed due to water; vehicles stranded

Flooding and high water in Vermont closed I-89 in both directions west of the capital city of Montpelier, and northbound lanes were closed south of the city, state police said.

Montpelier, population around 8,000, experienced flooding downtown during heavy rains that swelled the Winooski River, which is at major flood stage, officials said.

I-85 is closed in both directions between the Montpelier and Middlesex exits, and northbound lanes were closed between the Berlin and Montpelier exits, state police said.

Vehicles are also stranded by on-ramps. “There are no reports of immediate threats posed by high water, but the vehicles are unable to move due to flooding and road closures in the area,” state police said in a statement.

I-89 is an interstate that runs, in part, north to Montpelier, then northwest to Burlington and from there north to the Canada border.

Historic summer rains aren't done yet

Federal forecasters said Monday that some parts of New England already soaked by rain will continue to experience downpours and possible flash flooding through at least midnight.

The unusual storm that brought flooding from New York state to Maine is stalling and will produce more precipitation for New Hampshire, Vermont and the very northern reaches of upstate New York overnight, according to the National Weather Service.

The system, fed by a flow of air and tropical moisture from the southeast, could also produce more flash flooding, it said.

"A frontal boundary will remain stalled over the region through tonight," the weather service office in Gray, Maine, said in a forecast discussion. "This will result in numerous showers and drenching thunderstorms with flash flooding remaining possible."

Any drying out won't happen until midweek, it said, and by then federal forecasters will be trying to determine whether another front is headed for New England.

Dams in Vermont to release water over spillways, causing flooding

After heavy rain, the Army Corps of Engineers said tonight two dams in Vermont are expected to release water, which will cause flooding downstream.

They are Ball Mountain Dam in Jamaica and Townshend Dam in the Townshend and Windham area.

“We anticipate floodwaters to increase rapidly overnight, and we recommend taking precautions now. We encourage everyone to follow the guidance from their local emergency management officials,” the Army Corps of Engineers said.

The water is being released over spillways. Spillways are used to release water from reservoirs when they are full.

'Significant to catastrophic flooding' expected in Montpelier area, NWS says

The National Weather Service tonight warned of a serious situation in central Vermont and said Montpelier and surrounding areas were expected to get “significant to catastrophic flooding.”

Downtown Montpelier, the state capital, has flooded, said the police department there. City and other officials urged people to stay off the roads and to stay out of Montpelier.

The Winooski River was at major flood stage, the city said. Berlin, Montpelier and Chelsea still had rain falling tonight, the weather service said. "If you do not need to travel, please stay off the roads!" it said.

Downtown Montpelier floods projected to be worse than in 2011

Downtown Montpelier, the capital of Vermont, was flooded tonight, the city government said as it warned the inundation will be worse than flooding that occurred in 2011.

“Downtown Montpelier is flooded. Please stay out,” the government of the city of around 8,000 said on social media.

It said the flooding will be worse than in 2011, when Vermont had floods in May and also during Tropical Storm Irene in August.

The National Weather Service said there was major flooding in the area. “This is a very serious situation and officials are urging people not to travel,” it said tonight.

The waters were expected to rise until 2 a.m., the city said. The Winooski River, which runs through town, is at flood stage, officials said.

9 inches of rain recorded in Plymouth, Vermont

Plymouth, Vermont, got as much as 9 inches of rain and other areas got around 7 inches as the state has experienced flooding along with other parts of the Northeast, forecasters said.

A car is flooded in Ludlow, Vt., on July 10, 2023.
A car is flooded in Ludlow, Vt., on Monday.WPTZ

The National Weather Service said at 7:30 p.m. that Plymouth, a small town in the central part of the state, had possibly 9 inches of rain, although the readings were considered preliminary.

In Morrisville, a public observation recorded just over 7 inches, and a trained spotter observed 6.23 in Ludlow, which, like Plymouth, is in Windsor County, according to the weather service.

Highland Falls, N.Y., woman says flooding was like a disaster movie

When Savannah Pitcher and other family members raced to their grandmother’s home amid flooding in Highland Falls, New York, yesterday, the scene did not look real.

“It looked like a natural disaster, something you would only see in the movies,” Pitcher said in an interview today.

Pitcher said she went away from the home to where she could cross as the waters were rising. When she got to the apartment, two others were there and said her grandmother was OK. Pitcher’s brother carried their grandmother to safety.

“I’ve never seen Highland Falls like this, ever,” Pitcher said. “Never.”

Three dozen state roads closed in Vermont as waters rise

Vermont State Police warned this afternoon that rivers have not yet crested and that three dozen state roads had been closed because of floodwaters.

“Be ready to evacuate if floodwater approaches,” state police said on social media, adding a video showing high water in Waterbury.

The agency said that life-threatening flooding was occurring in the state today and that rescues have taken place.

Montpelier, Vermont, warns of flooding downtown

Officials in Montpelier, Vermont, warned that the Winooski River will flood downtown tonight.

The river is expected to crest to a height of 19.8 feet by midnight and remain at that stage for several hours, the city of about 8,000 residents said.

“Flooding is expected to be similar to or worse than the flooding Vermont experienced during the storm on May 11, 2011, and Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011,” the city said in the statement.

During Tropical Storm Irene, the Winooski River crested at 19.05 feet and flooded parts of the city, the National Weather Service said. Across the state, around 50,000 people lost power and six bridges were washed away, the agency said in a report.

Six people died and 3,500 homes were damaged in Vermont, according to an Irene Recovery Office report.

The worst has passed in New York, Hochul says

The worst of the heavy rain has passed, but authorities are still assessing damage after two days of rain, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

State teams are working to assess not only whether roads and bridges are passable but also whether there was any structural damage that could create larger issues, she said.

Basements to homes have been compromised, Hochul said. She said the basement had collapsed in a home she had just visited.

"It seems like the worst has passed in terms of the volume coming down, but now our job is to make sure," she said.

Ontario County remains under a state of emergency, and the declaration has been expanded to include Rockland, Essex and Oswego counties, Hochul said.

"Oswego County is sustaining flash flooding events as we speak. They're under a flash flood watch," Hochul said. "They had an enormous amount of rain, 3 inches in 90 minutes, just a few hours ago."

Photos: Aftermath of flooding in Highland Falls, N.Y.

Main Street covered in mud Monday in Highland Falls, N.Y.
Main Street is covered in mud Monday in Highland Falls, N.Y.Kena Betancur / AFP - Getty Images
Volunteers help clear Main Street of debris in Highland Falls, N.Y. John Minchillo / AP

Amtrak suspends service as storm rages in Vermont

Amtrak suspended service in Vermont today as heavy rain and dangerous flooding continued to affect the state.

The suspension affects the Vermonter line north of Springfield and the Ethan Allen Express, Amtrak said in a statement. It went into effect shortly after 2:30 p.m.

Amtrak suspended of service between New York City and Albany because of weather overnight.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said earlier that 19 people have been rescued from cars, trees and homes.

11 million under flood watches in New England

Steve Strouss

Rain continued across the Northeast this afternoon, with 11 million people still under flood watches across the region. 

Flash flood warnings also remained in effect for much of Vermont, where nearly two dozen roads had been closed or washed out.

By the evening, isolated rainfall amounts may exceed 7 inches across parts of upstate New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

Nancy Cain walks her dog as the rain pours down near the West River in Brattleboro, Vt., on July 10, 2023.
Nancy Cain walks her dog today as its pours near the West River in Brattleboro, Vt.Kristopher Radder / The Brattleboro Reformer via AP

Map: The chance of flash floods across the Northeast

Randi Selvey

North Carolina sends swift water rescue teams to Vermont

Two swift water rescue teams from North Carolina arrived in Vermont this morning. 

In total, 34 people were deployed to Vermont after the state requested a seven-day mission, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety said in a release

“It’s important for states to help each other in times of trouble and we’re glad to help Vermont as the people there battle flooding,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in the statement. “In times of crisis here in North Carolina, we know we can rely on our friends across the nation to help out, just as we are doing today.”

Video shows N.Y. State Police rescuing stranded motorists

In a video posted on Facebook, New York State Police helped stranded motorists reach safety after rushing floodwaters inundated a roadway.

The video shows state troopers in Orange County escorting a train of people along a tethered rope as they wade through flowing water. Multiple cars can be seen on the sides of the road.

“Safety is our first priority and our Troopers are at work assisting those impacted by the flooding downstate,” state police wrote in the video caption.

Highland Falls, N.Y., woman who died in floods is ID'd

Brittany Kubicko

The woman who died yesterday after she was swept away in fast-moving floodwaters in Highland Falls, New York, has been identified as Pamela Nugent, 43, police said. 

At an earlier news conference today, Gov. Kathy Hochul described the woman as 35 years old, which Police Chief Frank Basile Jr. said was incorrect. 

Nugent, of Fort Montgomery, was fleeing her home with her fiancé and pet when she got swept into the ravine, Hochul had said. 

N.Y. officials assessing damage as historic flooding leaves 1 dead

‘If you can, please stay home today,’ Vermont State Police warn

Vermont State Police warned of the dangerous nature of today’s storms, sharing a video of floodwaters rushing over a dam on the Ottauquechee River.

The police department said that about two dozen state roads were closed this morning and that emergency crews were called to conduct rescues in several communities.

“If you can, please stay home today,” the agency tweeted. “However, if floodwaters are approaching your home, leave immediately. Make an evacuation plan before it becomes necessary.”

The agency added that people should not drive or walk through floodwaters, because the water can be deeper than it appears and debris and strong currents are not always visible.

N.Y. deployed more than 1,000 emergency workers in storm

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul praised the work of first responders in the midst of yesterday’s intense rain. 

“We deployed more than 1,000 emergency workers to assist local governments,” she tweeted

She also praised state police for saving people from stuck cars and evacuating more than 700 train passengers in Putnam County after some rail line tracks became impassable because of high water and debris. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul, fourth from right, and an entourage of emergency workers, residents and journalists pass along Main Street on Monday, July 10, 2023, in Highland Falls, N.Y.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, fourth from right, and an entourage of emergency workers, residents and journalists survey the damage on Main Street in Highland Falls, N.Y., on Monday.John Minchillo / AP

Yesterday's rain and floods caused estimated 'tens of millions' in damage, N.Y. county official says

Yesterday’s extreme weather event caused “easily tens of millions of dollars of damage,” Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus said at a briefing today.

He said the state is pushing for a federal disaster declaration for funds to address the storm’s aftermath.

Neuhaus also praised first responders and crews who aided residents who got trapped in the floods.

“Many cars that tried to go through the water didn’t make it, got stuck. I saw active-duty Army soldiers up to their bellies walking to cars to make sure people got out,” he said. 

Neuhaus also spoke about the woman who died yesterday after she got swept into a ravine.

A damaged car lies on a collapsed part of Route 32 in the Hudson Valley near Cornwall, N.Y., on Monday.
A damaged car lies on a collapsed part of Route 32 in the Hudson Valley near Cornwall, N.Y., on Monday.Paul Kazdan / AP

“We saw debris falling on [first responders] as they tried to get her back up to high land where we could get her back to the medical examiner’s office,” he said.

‘Unprecedented’ weather events like yesterday's floods are from climate change, N.Y. governor says

Gov. Kathy Hochul today attributed yesterday’s deluge to "the ravages of climate change."

She noted the flash floods came just nine months after the region got record snowfall and weeks after the state’s air quality reached dangerous levels because of Canadian wildfire smoke. 

“These are unprecedented weather events that keep hitting us over and over again, so we must change our behavior as a planet, as a country, as a state and in our own homes,” she said. 

She tweeted that “there’s significant damage to houses, businesses, and infrastructure” as a result of the severe weather.

Hochul said she has been in touch with the White House, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, both of New York, about the flood damage and has been promised support to rebuild the affected infrastructure. 

A flooded Main Street in Highland Falls, N.Y., on Monday.John Minchillo / AP

New York braced for the torrents of rain by warning residents three days ahead and positioning 9,000 people, including 5,000 utility workers, to address power issues, she said.

Storms damage commuter rail line in N.Y.

Part of a commuter rail line in New York was damaged in yesterday’s flash flooding, according to officials with Metro-North Railroad.

“Yesterday’s storms, with heavy rain and flash flooding, washed out tracks along the Hudson Line north of Croton-Harmon and on the Wassaic Branch,” Metro-North tweeted.

The Hudson Line runs north of New York City along the east shore of the Hudson River.

Metro-North officials said they expect to have bus service between Croton-Harmon and Poughkeepsie up and running by noon today.

Passengers were advised to check and the TrainTime app for service updates.

19 people rescued in Vermont

As many as 19 people had been rescued from cars, trees and homes in Vermont as of 11 a.m., Gov. Phil Scott said at a news conference.

A total of 14 swift rescue teams have been deployed, he said.

Red Cross opens shelters in two states

The Red Cross said today that it has two shelters open — one in Highland Falls, New York, and one in Reading, Pennsylvania.

The Highland Falls shelter is housing 11 people, while the Reading shelter is housing 25 people.

Life-threatening flash flooding continues across Vermont

Widespread and life-threatening flash flooding is expected across Vermont today as continuing rounds of heavy rain lash the state.

Emergency managers said 10 families had already been evacuated from flooded homes in Londonderry, Andover and Ascutney, as reported by Vermont Public.

About two dozen state roads were closed at 10 a.m., state police said. Flash flood warnings were in effect from Massachusetts to the Canadian border.

Flash flood warnings are in place in Newport, Richford, Enosburg Falls, Barre, Montpelier, Middlebury, Springfield, Windsor, Rutland, Chester, Woodstock, Essex Junction, Vergennes and Bristol, according to the weather service in Burlington.

“We have already received reports of washed out roads, with more to come. This is a potentially life-threatening situation. Please remain alert today!” the agency tweeted earlier today.

Photos show boat rescues and submerged cars in New York

News: Flash Flooding in New York
Emergency personnel use a boat to rescue residents of flooded homes in Stony Point, N.Y.Seth Harrison / The Journal News / USA Today Network
Route 202 in Yorktown, N.Y.
Route 202 in Yorktown, N.Y.Seth Harrison / The Journal News / USA Today Network
Cars left stranded by flooding near Woodbury and Harriman in Orange County, N.Y.
Cars left stranded by flooding near Woodbury and Harriman in Orange County, N.Y.Manny Casais/NBC News

Fatal flood victim in New York was swept into a ravine, county official says

The woman who died yesterday in the severe floods inundating parts of New York was trying to evacuate with her family when she got washed down into a ravine, Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus told ABC’s “Good Morning America” today. 

The woman, previously described as in her 30s, was evacuating with her family when she was swept away. 

“She crossed with a pet and lost her footing and unfortunately was washed away down into a ravine,” Neuhaus said. 

He called last evening’s flash floods “complete chaos” but said the water has receded and crews are trying to check in on residents. 

Neuhaus said it's believed there are "no more rescues to be found."

Flash floods sweep through Highland Falls, N.Y.

Flight delays and cancellations remain a problem

Air travel disruptions over the weekend continued this morning, as severe weather forced airlines to divert flights and cancel others.

FlightAware, a company that tracks air travel, showed Boston Logan International Airport with 61 delayed flights and 13 cancellations, followed by Newark, New Jersey, with 34 delayed flights and 19 cancellations.

The Federal Aviation Administration said its Monday morning air traffic report found weather could cause delays in Atlanta, San Francisco and Florida.

National Weather Prediction Center warns about excessive rainfall

The National Weather Prediction Center warned this morning that rain in some areas of southern Vermont was approaching 1 inch per hour.

"Flash flooding is ongoing already in this area and is likely to become more widespread and severe through the morning hours as the rain continues," the center wrote in its warning.

"These rates in themselves could be enough to overwhelm soils to result in runoff and flash flooding, but what makes this event more alarming is that they will be occurring atop pre-saturated grounds," it added.

Satellite imagery shows clouds streaming over Northeast

Satellite imagery released this morning by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a large mass of clouds moving over the Northeast as the sun rose.

Flash flooding risk moves to Vermont

There is a high risk of flash flooding for parts of Vermont along the New York border this morning.

The "region is sensitive to flash flooding due to recent instances of heavy rainfall," according to the National Weather Service.

High-risk days are rare, and they account for 39% of flash flood-related deaths and 83% of flash flood-related damage.