Otter Creek pours into Rutland - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Otter Creek pours into Rutland

Rutland, Vermont - August 28, 2011

Flooding started before noon in Southern Vermont Sunday.

"Well, we put rocks in our driveway to measure where it was. Two or three hours ago the water wasn't even near our driveway, it's already come up 20 feet, now it's going past our house," said Paul Whitney, who lives on Clover Street.

Clover Street is the most flood prone area in Rutland City.

"We went door to door yesterday on Clover Street. We knew there was going to be an issue with Clover Street because historically that's the portion of town that gets hit with flooding," Mayor Chris Louras said.

Louras held an emergency meeting with the board of alderman Sunday evening. He says there are three major areas the city is focused on at this point in time.

The first is the Moonbrook area near Combination Pond. Crews began evacuating that area around 8 p.m. and continued to evacuate throughout the night.

The second area of concern is Patches Dam owned by CVPS. Officials say they've been watching the dam closely all day.

Another area of concern is the Dorr Drive Bridge over Otter Creek. The bridge, as we reported this spring, is considered structurally deficient by the state.

Otter Creek is at record levels cresting at over 16 feet-- twice the flood stage of 8 feet.

"It just seems that the water is coming so fast that it's all rising up and the culverts and bridges can't handle the amount of water," said Jeremy Waite, a VTrans crew member.

MSJ's soccer fields are completely underwater, the goal posts are 9 feet high, barely visible under the river that's taking over much of Rutland City.

"We've been pumping our house out at least 20 times but the water keeps going right back in," Whitney said.

Crews say homeowners like the Whitneys have been warned. While the city can't force you to evacuate, officials say they won't tell you twice.

"We came earlier and asked them all to evacuate. Those who stayed were told they will be on their own and we will not come and get them out," Rutland City Fire Lt. Jim Miles said.

Conditions only worsened in Rutland County Sunday night. Castleton College is completely underwater and won't reopen until Tuesday. We also know the Brandon House of Pizza on Route 7 and Route 73 has come off of its foundation and is in the middle of the road which is closed. Meanwhile, many remain stranded as the city scrambles to evacuate the homes devastated by Irene.

Susie Steimle - WCAX News


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