Vermont grapples with historic flooding as more rainstorms head for Northeast


(NEW YORK) — Flood-ravaged areas in the northeastern United States could see even more rainfall on Thursday as communities try to recover from a historic deluge.

A severe weather system moving through the Plains and the Midwest is forecast to reach the Northeast by Thursday evening with scattered storms. That means potentially more rain from New York to Vermont, areas where the ground is already so saturated that it won’t take much to cause more flooding.

In Vermont, some areas had recorded up to 9 inches of rain over a 24-hour period by Tuesday afternoon as small creeks turned into raging rivers that swallowed roads in the worst flooding to hit the Green Mountain State since Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. Swift water rescue teams have rescued more than 100 people across Vermont since Sunday, though no injuries or deaths have been reported so far, according to officials.

The Winooski River, which runs through Vermont’s capital, crested at 21.02 feet in Montpelier on Tuesday, its highest level since 1927. The river gradually receded, reaching below flood stage by Tuesday evening. The Wrightsville Dam, which forms a reservoir just outside Montpelier, was also beginning to recede and was not expected to breach the spillway, officials said.

The Lamoille River, running through northern Vermont, reached its highest level on record of 455.13 feet in the village of Jeffersonville on Tuesday.

President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency in Vermont, freeing up federal resources.

Meanwhile, at least one person was killed in floodwaters in upstate New York. More than 500 homeowners have reported damage in the Empire State’s hard-hit Orange County so far, according to officials.

The extreme weather began on Sunday, affecting much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, prompting flash flood alerts in parts of New York. The storm system pushed north on Monday, with the heaviest rainfall hitting Vermont.

The Northeast was expected to get a break from the downpours on Tuesday and Wednesday before more storms strike the region on Thursday, including in New York and Vermont, with potentially another 2 to 4 inches of rain.

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