Vermont’s capitol is under water due to flooding, and the dam is almost at capacity

After “catastrophic” flooding shut down roads leading out of Montpelier and trapped people in their homes on Tuesday, a dam upstream of the Vermont state capital was holding at full strength.
According to city authorities, the Wrightsville Dam, which creates a reservoir four miles (6.4 km) north of Montpelier, is getting close to needing a spillway to discharge water into the North Branch of the Winooski River.

Advertisements

That would exacerbate the “catastrophic” flooding that the National Weather Service has described in the charming downtown area of Montpelier, where residents negotiated the flooded streets in kayaks and floodwaters reached the windows of businesses and the tops of vehicles.

In close proximity to the Vermont state building, the North Branch and a second, larger branch of the Winooski meet.

According to climate experts, the United States is experiencing severe weather more frequently and with greater intensity as a result of global, human-caused climate change.

While a state capitol in the Northeast is submerged, Florida’s ocean temperatures have surged to as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), Texas is sweltering under a heat dome, and California is preparing for temperatures as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) this weekend in desert regions.

Over the past few days, rain has fallen up to 8 inches (20 cm) in some areas of the U.S. Northeast, including New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Vermont Governor Phil Scott said, “Make no mistake, the devastation and flooding we’re experiencing across Vermont are historic and catastrophic.”

William Fraser, the city manager of Montpelier, Vermont, warned the city’s 8,000 residents in a Facebook (NASDAQ:META) post to be ready to relocate to the top floors of their homes when highway closures made evacuations challenging or impossible.

According to Mike Cannon, the director of the state’s Urban Search and Rescue operation, search teams have used swift boats to rescue 117 individuals from their homes and cars around the state as authorities responded to calls reporting that further people were stuck in their homes in isolated places.

Officials in Vermont described the flooding as the worst to hit the state since Hurricane Irene, which struck as a tropical storm in 2011 and left seven people dead and approximately $750 million in damages.

Conor Casey, a member of the Montpelier City Council, claimed that the likelihood of flooding is increased by the city’s topography, which has the downtown in a valley and is bordered by hills.

“My wife and I live right on the river and it’s about two feet from coming into the living room,” Casey added. “It’s not entirely foreign to us because of Irene, but I think the scary thing is that it feels a little worse so far,” said the speaker.

Private weather forecaster AccuWeather estimated that damages and economic loss from the storm ranged from $3 billion to $5 billion.

The majority of the crops at the 80-year-old Boyd Family Farm in Wilmington, Vermont, which is owned by Janet Boyd, her husband, and their son, were destroyed by the storm, according to Janet Boyd.

Boyd stated that “we lost all the vegetables and only have our blueberries left,” including “all the greens, the tomatoes, the peppers, and the garlic.”

R.K. Miles Building Materials owner Joe Miles, 59, claimed three of his eight facilities in the state were severely damaged, with two of them being cut off by flooding.

He lost a lot of his inventory of plywood and lumber due to water damage.

Miles remarked, “It’s awful and tragic, but fortunately no one was hurt.” “We’ll overcome it,”