Vermont Tallying Up Flash Flood Damage from Heavy Rains

July 7, 2017

Officials worked Wednesday to tally up the flood damaged to central Vermont roads, culverts and a municipal water system following last week’s storms to determine if the state will seek federal assistance for repairs.

Heavy rains on Saturday, on the heels of storms last week, caused roads and culverts to wash out in parts of Addison, Orange, Rutland, Windsor, and some Washington County towns.

“This storm has been devastating for several communities,” Vermont Emergency Management Director Erica Bornemann said Wednesday. “We are working to ensure we provide relief to all communities that suffered damage, which requires a thorough accounting of damage so we can make a compelling case for a disaster declaration, should we reach thresholds.”

Some of the hardest hit areas were Brandon, Thetford, Norwich and Tinmouth.

As of Wednesday, about 16 communities had major damage and more than 30 more had minor damage, state emergency management spokesman Mark Bosma said.

The damage amount to reach federal disaster levels is $1 million statewide and $3.61 per capita in counties, Bosma said.

“As we work with towns and cities to assess all damage, we have not yet determined that Vermont will qualify for a federal disaster declaration. However, we are prepared to quickly initiate the process once we verify numbers in the coming days,” said Bornemann.

The heavy rains on Saturday also caused flood damage to a section of railroad tracks in Hartford, forcing the suspension of Amtrak train service through the area. The tracks have been fixed and service was restored Wednesday.

Nearly 4 inches of rain fell in Brandon on Saturday, washing out a section of road in the village of Forest Dale, causing close to $500,000 of damage and prompting the temporary evacuation of 15 families, Brandon Town Manager David Atherton told the Rutland Herald. The families were back home by Monday. The town’s new $2.38 million downtown culvert also saved the downtown from flooding, town officials said.

During Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, runoff couldn’t fit into a narrow culvert and flooded the downtown.

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