A federal emergency has been declared in Vermont, where homes and businesses are surrounded by water in several cities, including the state capital.

A federal emergency has been declared in Vermont, where homes and businesses are surrounded by water in several cities, including the state capital.

President Declares State of Emergency

The catastrophic flooding threatening Vermont has drawn comparisons to Hurricane Irene in 2011, which submerged entire communities and killed at least 40 people across the US. Over 3 million people are under flood alerts.

Biden made the emergency declaration while on his visit to Vilnius, Lithuania, for the NATO summit.

Biden’s action authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency “to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures,” the White House announcement said.

Over 6 million people across the Northeast were under flood watches or warnings Monday night, with the largest affected area spread across New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.

Shelters Are Available

Numerous rivers across Vermont have been rising amid the downpours, with some swelling higher than levels reached during Hurricane Irene. The Winooski River at Montpelier rose nearly 14 feet Monday and passed major flood stage as the water continued to climb, threatening further flooding.

A number of temporary, emergency shelters are open throughout Vermont Tuesday morning. This list will continue to be updated.

Vermont emergency shelters:

  • Barre Auditorium 16 Auditorium Hill
  • Barton Municipal Building, 17 Village Lane, Barton
  • Bethel Town Hall, 134 So. Main St.
  • Bridgewater Grange Hall, Route 100A, Bridgewater
  • Cavendish Baptist Church, 2258 Main Street, Cavendish, Vermont
  • Cavendish Elementary School 573 Main St. Proctorsville
  • Masonic Lodge, 110 Vt. Rt.30 Jamaica
  • Vermont State University, 337 College Hill Road, Johnson, Vermont (Call first: 802-635-2611)
  • Londonderry Flood Brook School, 91 Vt. Rt. 11
  • Londonderry Town Hall 100 Old School Rd.
  • Mount Holly Town Hall and Belmont Village Fire Station
  • Newbrook Fire Dept. 698 Rt. 30, Newfane
  • Pittsfield Town Offices, 56 Village Green
  • Vermont Technical College, 124 Admin Dr. Randolph
  • S. Londonderry Baptist Church, 62 Crescent St.
  • Williamstown Middle and High School, 120 Hebert Road
  • Williston Central School, 195 Central School Dr.

Dam Running Out of Capacity

The city manager of Montpelier, Vermont, issued a warning early Tuesday morning alerting residents of a “potentially dangerous situation” as a local dam continues to fill closer to capacity, threatening to send large amounts of water into the downtown area of Vermont’s capital city after catastrophic flooding on Monday.

Montpelier City Manager William Fraser posted a haunting update to the city’s Facebook page warning residents that more water could rush into the downtown area as a dam quickly fills to capacity.

The Wrightsville Dam had only 6 feet of storage capacity as of early Monday morning. Fraser warned that the first spillway will release water into the North Branch River if the water exceeds capacity.

“This has never happened since the dam was built, so there is no precedent for potential damage,” he warned in the Facebook post. “There would be a large amount of water coming into Montpelier which would drastically add to the existing flood damage.”

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