Flooding forces evacuations in Central Vt. - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Flooding forces evacuations in Central Vt.

Posted: Updated:
Debris washing up in Barre Debris washing up in Barre
Montpelier - Courtesy: Greg Maguire Montpelier - Courtesy: Greg Maguire

Montpelier, Vermont - May 27, 2011


Thursday's heavy rains forced evacuations Friday morning in Central Vermont. About 200 people have been sent to shelters.

Main Street in Barre is closed and people from the downtown were evacuated to the Barre Auditorium. Evacuees from Berlin were also sent there.

The Winooski River jumped its banks in Montpelier and residents in the downtown are seeking refuge at the National Life building.

Three dozen schools closed because of the flooding.

Many homes and business are damaged.

The river covered many parts of Route 2 and in places, parts of the road were under 5 to 10 feet of water. Debris washed up all over.


National Life of Vermont building on National Life Drive in Montpelier

Barre Auditorium in Barre

(St. Johnsbury and Berlin shelters are now CLOSED)


Governor Peter Shumlin is promising a quick response from state government to help effected communities.

"The most signifcant damage is Montpelier, Barre, Barre City, and Route 2 down in to Saint Johnsbury. The lieutenant governor and I are starting here in Montpelier, and heading to Barre next to assess the damage," said Shumlin, D-Vermont.


Upward of 9,500 homes lost power because of the storm. They were spread out across every county in Vermont, but Washington County had the most trouble. Some 2,600 homes and businesses there were in the dark. Lamoille County had almost 1,400 and Essex County had another 1,200.

As of 4 p.m. about 3,000 customers were still without power.


As of 6:30 p.m. Vermont Emergency Management listed the following state roads as closed:

  • Route 2 Cabot vicinity of Goodrich Maple Farm – culvert damage. This will be closed for some time as it appears that this culvert has dropped and needs replacement. 
  • Route 14 Barre Town vicinity Gillies Marine – flooding. Will be closed for a while.
  • Route 5 Passumpsic – flooding. Will be closed for a while.

For road closures dial 511 or go to www.511vt.com

Many local roads are also closed, including North Williston Road in Williston.

Vermont Emergency Management reminds motorists to NEVER ATTEMPT TO DRIVE OVER FLOODED ROADS.


Those homeowners who have suffered damage in the most recent floods are asked to call 211 to report that damage.


Most of the flooding damage in Vermont is centered around the Winooski River. The Winooski starts in the town of Cabot. The river then flows through Marshfield and Plainfield, East Montpelier and Montpelier before flowing west through Winooski and Richmond.


The Vermont Health Department says WIC supplemental food deliveries in Barre, including the city and town, will not be made Friday due to flooding. Deliveries scheduled for Friday, May 27, will be made on Tuesday, May 31.

Washington Electric Co-op is among many businesses and homes in East Montpelier hit by flooding. Because of the flooding, communications for WEC are limited. WEC is focusing on dispatch and damage assessment, so people who call about other matters will be called back.

The Montpelier Farmers Market will be moved for this weekend due to the flooding. It will be held at Vermont College this Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

All non-essential state workers in Washington, Orange and Caledonia Counties were told they did not have to come to work Friday.


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