By Polly Mikula
Over 5 inches of rain reportedly fell in less than 2 hours on Friday afternoon, July 7, in Killington and Bridgewater causing flash flooding and mudslides that washed out portions of Route 4, East Mountain Road and Bear Mountain Road in Killington.
Rains began around 3 p.m. with reports of flash flooding beginning around 4 p.m. At 5:15 p.m., the town was under an Emergency Alert: “A FLASH FLOOD WARNING is in effect for this area until 6:45 p.m. EDT. This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation. Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order,” the alert stated.
A mudslide destroyed a section of Route 4 just east of the western entrance of Mission Farm Road depositing feet of debris and earth. The road was temporarily closed, with traffic being diverted back to Rutland to then head east on Route 103. Route 4 reopened about an hour later when crews reopened Mission Farm Road (which had been closed for bridge work where it intersected with Route 4 to the east). Traffic was then detoured about a 1/2 mile around the mudslide on Mission Farm Road.
East Mountain Road from Route 4 to Foster Farm Road and many of its offshoots, including Bear Mountain Road, remain closed through Saturday. Crews from the town and state as well as private construction companies have been working around the clock to clear and rebuild the roads.
Town officials estimate that there is well over $1 million worth of damage to the town (which doesn’t include Route 4, as that’s a state roadway).
Officials kindly ask that the public refrain from trying to travel East Mountain Road to see the damages as conditions are dangerous. “East Mountain Rd is currently being repaired to allow for vehicle traffic. We respectfully request all pedestrian and bike traffic refrain from coming to this area. It puts the equipment operators and yourselves at risk of injury. It also delays the rebuild efforts,” Chief of Police Whit Montgomery posted on the Killington Police Dept. Facebook page.
Once it is safe to pass, news will be posted here and on Facebook.
This report will be updated as more information can be verified.
UPDATE Saturday, July 8:
Chief Montgomery mobilized a search and rescue team to bring a generator to a subject in the Sunrise Condo who was on oxygen and did not have power. The team did welfare checks to ensure no one else was in a dangerous situation.
UPDATE Sunday, July 9:
Sunrise Village, Top Ridge and Spruce Glenn areas on East Mountain Road and Bear Mountain Road have been evacuated. All residents were asked to leave no later than 2 p.m. Sunday as more extreme rains were predicted Sunday night and into Monday and Tuesday. Sections of those roads were precariously eroded and were not be able to be immediately stabilized.