Flooding closes roads and schools in northern Vermont

Posted April 27, 2011, at 9:45 p.m.

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Overnight heavy rains caused rivers to overflow their banks Wednesday, flooding roads and basements across northern Vermont and forcing some school districts to cancel classes.

Cambridge, Jeffersonville, Johnson and North Troy were hard hit by flooded rivers from a storm that dropped 2.52 inches of rain in Jeffersonville and 2.74 inches in Burlington between Tuesday and Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The Lamoille and the Missisquoi rivers caused the biggest problems, according to the Vermont Emergency Management Agency. A mother and four children had to be rescued from the rising waters in Cambridge. Fire and rescue crews used a dump truck — weighted down with a load of gravel — to rescue them.

“It was definitely a little scary, especially with the kids,” Nicole Brown told WCAX-TV.

Among the roads closed:

• Vermont Route 15, between Johnson and Jeffersonville

• Routes 109, 108 North and 15 at the wrong way bridge in Cambridge

• Route 5 in St. Johnsbury.

Countess other local roads were flooded or washed out.

Roads also were flooded in Lyndonville, Sheldon and East Berkshire.

“You can leave town and go east but you cannot go west,” said Eric Osgood, Johnson’s emergency management director and chairman of the select board, which had declared a state of emergency in town.

Gov. Peter Shumlin and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott toured flood-damaged areas of Johnson.

“It’s fairly severe,” Osgood said.

Power had to be shut off to at least 15 customers in Johnson because of basement flooding, he said.

The Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross had helped arrange for overnight lodging for at least seven families affected by flooding in Jeffersonville, St. Johnsbury and Burlington.

By Wednesday afternoon, the water had started to recede in Johnson as officials braced for more rain Wednesday night and Thursday.

“Obviously, our concern is what the weather has in store for us,” Osgood said.

 

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