Storm abates; emergency officials still urge caution - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Storm abates; emergency officials still urge caution

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Water sits stagnant in fields filled with corn crops following yet another night of rain. The minor flooding so far won't help farmers, but it pales in comparison to the impact the state had braced for overnight.

"We dodged a bullet on this one; we're very fortunate," Vt. Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said.

Forecasters warned of the possibility of multiple inches of rain as Thursday turned into Friday, and memories of Tropical Storm Irene resurfaced. It prompted the state to open its Emergency Operations Center Thursday night and prepare for the worst.

State officials connected with local responders in anticipation of flooding, but they were able to exhale as the rain took a rest, with no reported incidents.

Flynn is pleased with their efforts.

"I believe when there's a perceived threat that we just cannot compromise on the safety of the people of the state of Vermont," Flynn said. "We have to make sure that if we see something that potentially could harm Vermonters-- be it a weather event or some other event-- we need to respond the best that we can."

Residents of Colchester are in ready mode, as well. They can stop by the public works department for free for fill-your-own sandbags. The concern there is shifting as the water level on Lake Champlain continues to climb as the rain falls.

"Although we may not be facing a threat of inland damages such as roadway washouts or things of that nature, we have this future potential threat of elevated lake levels and how that affects our property owners in the shoreline areas," said Bryan Osborne, the director of public works in Colchester.

The department's shop will be open to residents 24 hours a day as long as the weather stays wet and the ground stays saturated.

Rain remains in the forecast and only time will tell what if any threats continued downpours will pose.

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