On July 9, 2023

Catastrophic, life-threatening flooding expected in Vermont starting Sunday

Southern Vermont and the spine of the Green Mountains could see 5 inches of rain. The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the entire state and warned of flash flooding Sunday night.

By Paul Heintz/VTDigger

Vermont could face catastrophic, life-threatening flooding as a deluge of rain meets saturated soils and swelling waterways, officials warned Sunday.

“It’s flooding that we haven’t seen in over a decade,” said Matthew Clay, a Burlington-based meteorologist for the National Weather Service. “This could be similar to the flooding that we saw with (Tropical Storm) Irene in some places.”

The weather service issued a statewide flood watch from Sunday afternoon through Monday evening. Forecasters said to expect two to four inches of rain throughout much of Vermont by Tuesday morning — and more than five inches in some areas. Southern Vermont and the spine of the Green Mountains are expected to be hit hardest, according to Clay.

Flash floods are likely overnight, Clay said, particularly in low-lying areas and those near streams and rivers. Larger rivers could continue to rise through Tuesday morning.

Most of Vermont has seen two to eight inches of rain over the past week, according to Clay, exacerbating the risks of the coming storm.

“It’s just kind of the worst-case scenario after getting all this rainfall,” he said.

Vermont Emergency Management called on those in the state Sunday to prepare for flooding and monitor weather reports closely. Officials recommended that those in flood-prone areas make a plan to evacuate if necessary and heed warnings as they are issued. They reminded Vermonters to avoid driving through floodwaters, turn off circuit breakers before evacuating and move valuables from basements.

Clay encouraged Vermonters to cancel outdoor activities Sunday night and avoid campgrounds, if possible. “Being proactive is the best course of action with this flooding,” he said.

Weather service maps showed that most of Bennington and Rutland counties should expect more than four inches of rain, along with portions of Windham, Windsor, Addison, Orange, Chittenden, Washington and Lamoille counties.

Vermont Emergency Management recommended signing up for weather warnings through the Vermont Alert system and monitoring its social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. The National Weather Service’s latest forecasts for Bennington and Windham counties are available at its Albany site and for the rest of Vermont at its Burlington site.


Courtesy NWS Burlington

The National Weather Service warned of heavy rainfall throughout Vermont starting Sunday, July 9, 2023.

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