Gov. Shumlin tours flood damage - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Gov. Shumlin tours flood damage

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Granville Granville
GRANVILLE, Vt. -

"Vermont's barely keeping our head above water," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.

Roadways became waterways again in Vermont following more late-night rains. The governor pumped the brakes on Independence Day appearances, instead touring damage in Central Vermont.

"Every time we make progress there's another afternoon storm, there's another one predicted for this afternoon, so it's really tough to stay ahead of it," Shumlin said.

Along Route 100 in Granville, overflow eroded banks, causing pavement to crumble.

"We're trying to get these roads reopened within a day. It is a holiday weekend, people are here, people are traveling. It's important to keep these roads open; we're trying really hard to do that," Vt. Transportation Secretary Brian Searles said.

In Roxbury, state crews are replacing volunteers after rain knocked out roads and this bridge. But the rain didn't wash away celebration plans.

"Historically, we've always had a parade. So, even if it's been a few little trucks and a short little parade, so we just felt we should do that," Roxbury Volunteer Fire Chief Tim Martin said.

Martin broke from party preparations late Wednesday night, as calls and the rain surged. After doing what he could on the roads, he returned to prep for the barbecue.

The weather is also disrupting rail traffic in Roxbury and contributing to the state's rising repair bill. By lumping all of the storms dating back to Memorial Day into one relief application, Searles expects more federal aid and greater discretion over its use.

July marked the beginning of a new budget year, but the state will need all the money it can get if this rain and cleanup continues.

Searles says he is confident Vermont will qualify for federal highway funds to repair storm damage. And Governor Shumlin says when the state rebuilds, it should use the highest standards possible to try to avoid future problems.

Click here for the latest information on roads from VTrans.

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