A woman is safe after she was rescued from a truck stuck in rising Northern Vermont floodwaters by a Franklin County Sheriff’s corporal and a neighbor.
Cpl. McKenney was the first to respond to a distress call at about 5:30 on Tuesday, reporting a truck stuck on Longley Bridge Road in Montgomery, in far northern Vermont. State Police and Enosburg Rescue workers were also responding, among others, but flood waters and heavy mud made many roads to the scene impassible.
McKenney and a neighbor, Stanley Longley, saw a woman stuck in the truck, and became very worried she would be swept away by the flood.
The pair jumped into action: Longley brought his farm tractor to the edge of the water, and McKenney climbed on. Longley backed the tractor into the water to the truck, and McKenney was able to break a window and pull the woman out. With the help of Enosburg Rescue member Dean Scott, McKenney and the woman got onto the tractor and all were driven to safety by Longley.
The woman was not seriously injured and was transported to Northwest Medical Center for precautionary purposes.
Vermont State Police would like to remind the public the importance of not driving on submerged roadways. The National Weather Service reports each year more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control report that over half of all flood-related deaths occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water.
Rob Mitchell / Staff Photo
Rutland Police responded to this car into a telephone pole on Woodstock Avenue in Rutland Wednesday morning, when a light snowfall made roads slippery.
Slippery roads have caused crashes around the state this morning, as an accident closed Route 4 West in Castleton, and a Red Cross Bloodmobile went off the road on I-89 in Royalton when a car merged in front of it and slowed down too quickly, state police said.
Vermont State Police photo
This Red Cross Bloodmobile went off I-89 when a smaller car merged in front of it and slowed down.
National Weather Service storm total predictions for Vermont.
State emergency services are warning Vermonters to check their heating vents and drive safe, as the National Weather Service is predicting up to 18 inches of snow for southern parts of the state tonight and into Friday. The weather service also expects gusty winds that could create snow drifts and driving challenges.
For a list of school closings this morning, please click here.
The morning of Feb. 5, 2014.
Here’s today’s forecast discussion from the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury: Low pressure that’s been moving out of the Tennessee Valley is consolidating near Washington, D.C. this morning. The center of the low should then rapidly move northeastward into the waters off the southern tip of Nova Scotia by about 7:00 PM, with the related snowfall then exiting our region by midnight. Despite the storm’s fairly rapid movement, it will pack a pretty good wallop today, especially in southern Vermont, where a foot of snow is possible. Accumulation will generally decrease the farther north you look, whittling down to the 2 to 4 inch range up around the international border. The timing of this storm will be particularly difficult for commuters, as it is likely to affect both morning and evening commutes, with steady snow in between. The good news is that there isn’t any kind of thaw in the foreseeable future, so whatever snow that falls will stick around for a while, something that snow lovers have seen too little of this winter.
Due to an expected snowstorm, the Vermont Humanities Council‘s First Wednesdays lecture with philosophy scholar Susanne Claxton, scheduled for Wednesday, February 5, at First Congregational Church at 7:00 pm has been rescheduled to Wednesday, June 4 at the same time. The talk, “The Examined Life,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series.
Due to an expected snowstorm, the Vermont Humanities Council‘s First Wednesdays lecture with Dartmouth professor Randall Balmer, scheduled for Wednesday, February 5, at Ilsley Public Library at 7:00 pm has been rescheduled for Wednesday, June 4 at the same time. The talk, “Redeemer President: The Significance of Jimmy Carter,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series.
Eric Francis Photo
Hartford Police Officer Sean Fernandes wades down a flooded stretch of Gates Street near the large phone company building in downtown White River Junction late Wednesday night after a thunderstorm flooded
several downtown streets and parking lots.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION – Exactly two years after Tropical Storm Irene inundated sections of White River Junction there was an eerie flashback Wednesday night as a torrential thunderstorm and an accompanying water main break sent several streets under water.
Drivers found themselves up to the bottoms of their car’s doors in water in several spots ranging from Gates Street behind the large telephone company building to the railroad underpass on Maple Street right next to the Hartford Town Hall where two cars that had been headed in opposite directions found themselves stalled about 9:30 p.m.
Supervising the efforts of two tow trucks that had been called in to haul the stranded drivers to safety, Hartford Police Sgt. Connie Kelley said she was nearly caught up by the freak storm herself.
“I came down the hill on Route 5 by the former LISTEN Center/25,000 Gifts building and hit basically like a lake in the road and the water came up over my hood,” Sgt. Kelley recalled.
Eric Francis Photo
A lightning flash reveals a flooded stretch of Gates Street in downtown White River Junction next to the large phone company building late Wednesday night as a tow truck operator talks to Hartford Police
Officer Sean Fernandes.
Crews later determined that a water main had given way near the intersection of Routes 4 and 5 sending a wave of water that actually pushed a television set that had been sitting in front of the former LISTEN building clear down the hill to the intersection in front of the Bugbee Senior Center.
“This is unprecedented,” noted Hotel Coolidge owner David Briggs shortly after 10 p.m. as he waved a flashlight across the completely flooded parking lot behind the Gates Briggs Building. The building houses the Briggs Opera House and several downtown businesses including Revolution and the popular Tuckerbox coffee shop.
For a time much of Currier Street, which runs behind the Hotel Coolidge, was flooded right up to the curbs, as were stretches of nearby Gates Street and Church Street in front of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.
Briggs said the parking lots in the downtown have never flooded like this in previous years but he said this is the second time they’ve done so this summer. “Something has changed,” he said, pointing out that the water in the basements of the downtown block appeared to be coming in from, rather than going out through, the storm drain system.
– Eric Francis | Herald Correspondent
WILLIAMSTOWN — Heavy rain has caused some flash flooding in Williamstown, where 15 to 20 families had evacuated from their homes overnight.
The rain moved over parts of Orange County and surrounding areas early Tuesday. Town Manager Jackie Higgins says several residents experienced major flooding in their basements and near their homes. The water has since receded. Local roads and Routes 64 and 14 have been reopened. But Higgins urged residents to use caution when driving, because there have been some washouts.
By 6 a.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported a flash flood warning had been cancelled for south-central Washington and north-central Orange counties.
More scattered storms were expected Tuesday afternoon.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION – Amtrak is looking to restore train service to its Vermonter line sometime this weekend, after flash floods damaged tracks in Roxbury and Braintree on Thursday.
“They are hoping to have it back running as early as Saturday morning,” Amtrak Conductor Mike Kujala explained Friday to some of the 75 passengers who were moved onto a pair of chartered buses.
The buses have been relaying the Vermonter’s ridership back and forth between St. Albans and Springfield, Mass., the point where Amtrak’s trains are currently halting their northbound runs but from which they are able to continue down to New York City and beyond.
Wednesday night’s northbound Vermonter squeaked through its narrow valley before the Third Branch of the White River rose over the tracks but that train is still holed up in St. Albans, unable to move until the New England Central Railroad put the damaged tracks back in service.
– Eric Francis | Correspondent
GROTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont State Police say the body of a Massachusetts man has been found in Lake Groton. Police say they were called about a possible drowning just after midnight on Friday morning.
Police say the victim — 24-year-old Kirk Biancardi of Grafton, Mass. — was found in about 2 feet of water before troopers arrived.
Authorities say there is nothing suspicious about the incident and there were no signs of foul play.
An autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of death.
Crews have also recovered the body of a missing Vermont swimmer who was swept over Bartlett Falls in Bristol. Police say two men had gone swimming in the New Haven River on Thursday but lost sight of one another. Search efforts were suspended Thursday night due to dangerous conditions, and the body was recovered Friday morning.
More heavy rain in Vermont has caused rivers and streams to spill over their banks and flood roads.
The state Department of Public Safety is warning swimmers of the hazardous conditions. The high waters have created conditions that are not safe for swimming.
The National Weather Service says scattered showers and thunderstorms are in Friday’s forecast for much of the state.
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — Crews are restoring power and cleaning up tree debris from a strong storm that moved through northern Vermont.
Authorities say the worst of the damage was in Danville and St. Johnsbury. Some roads were blocked because of fallen trees and power lines from Sunday’s storm.
State Troopers from St. Johnsbury responded to numerous reports of downed trees and power lines in Caledonia and Essex counties.
The Essex County Sheriff’s Department also assisted with a motor vehicle on Victory Road where a tree fell on it and the two occupants were reported trapped. Both occupants had minor injuries and were taken to Weeks Memorial Hospital in Lancaster, N.H.
Green Mountain Power reported about 3,600 customers without power Monday morning, down from a peak of about 13,500 on Sunday night.