Brattleboro Vermont Flooding

August 29, 2011 by USA Post 

Brattleboro Vermont FloodingBrattleboro Vermont Flooding, The flooding brought by Tropical Storm Irene began to fall Monday in Vermont, but the governor warned that the flooding and loss of life is likely before the small state, rural.

“It’s just devastating,” said Governor Peter Shumlin Monday. “Whole communities under water, businesses, homes, obviously, roads and bridges, rail transport infrastructure. We have lost the crops of farmers,” he said. “We are tough people here, but Irene … it really hit us hard.”

Even the state emergency management based in Waterbury on Sunday night flooded, forcing authorities to evacuate Burlington, about 20 miles away.

“The storm essentially southern Vermont shut down,” said State Police Capt. Ray Keefe. “It’s terrible.”

Hundreds of people remain trapped in communities isolated by the raging waters that washed or damaged 263 roads and bridges, Shumlin said. Exactly how many were stranded Monday remains unclear, he said.

“It’s hard for us to know, frankly, because it is difficult for us to reach the communities that we have come,” he said.

Highlighting the problems of transportation, Vermont National Guard had to travel through the neighboring Massachusetts for rescue teams to the small, cut the city of Wilmington, said the governor.

One death had been confirmed as a result of the storm. The fatality occurred in Wilmington, where a woman standing near a dead river after being swept away. His body has been recovered, authorities said.

“I can say with confidence that there is more loss of life,” said Shumlin, adding that authorities are searching for several missing people.

At 11 am ET, officials said at least 50,000 homes and businesses in the state remained without power.

Images of flooding was usually tranquil streams flowing through the city streets and beating against the buildings and bridges, including some of the famous covered bridges in the state. Between four and six covered bridges were destroyed in the floods, officials said.

The floods are the worst in the state since 1927, officials said.

“I can not think of anything in my life I’ve seen flooding this bad,” said Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy.

Many areas of the state remained under flood warnings Monday morning, reports the National Weather Service continued the unprecedented floods in some places.

For example, the Otter Creek in Rutland, Vermont, was at a depth of less than 4 feet Sunday morning more than 17 feet at 1:45 am on Monday – about 4 feet higher than the record established in 1938, according to the National Weather Service service. Although it was falling Monday morning, it was still 8 feet above flood stage.

Shumlin said the likely additional flooding problems as water spilled from the smaller streams in large rivers.

CNN iReporter Andrew Cliver had gone through a hurricane before, but said the hilly terrain of Vermont amplified the effects of rainfall Irene.

“Because it is so hilly here, the water all drains into streams and rivers running with a force that is powerful enough to move the buildings that have been standing for 100 years,” he said.

Barack Obama President signed a disaster declaration for the state on Monday, allowing federal aid to state.

Unlike many states, Vermont did not order or suggest evacuations. Many cities in the state are in the lowlands and there are few large tracts of dry land, so large-scale evacuations are not practical, Shumlin said.

Some cities are part evacuate during the night, including the state capital of Montpelier, but the situation in the town of 8000 located 50 miles from Canada was not as bad as feared, officials said. Floodwaters appeared to peak on the Winooski River early Monday.

“There seems to be much more than that flooding has been reported previously,” said City Manager William J. Fraser. “In general, do not expect conditions worse. Agua slowly begin to recede in the morning.”

In Brattleboro, a town of 12,000 people in the New Hampshire border, Whetstone Brook burst its banks and has undermined a three-story building, threatening to take it down.

“We have seen nothing like this,” said Barbara Sondage, town manager of Brattleboro.

Permanent resident Jesse Stone saw rip off the White River bridge foundations in the historic Quechee covered as lava through the heart of the city.

“It’s almost impossible to imagine the bridge being taken,” Stone said in an iReport. “It is usually (far) above the water level.”

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