Heavy rainfall floods roads in southern Vermont

Courtesy: Bellows Falls Fire Department
Courtesy: Bellows Falls Fire Department(wcax)
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 5:41 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2021 at 6:11 AM EDT
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JAMAICA, Vt. (WCAX) - Residents in southern Vermont are cleaning up after heavy rains wiped out roads and flooded property.

“We could see the water over the road and it was reminiscent of Irene,” said Kathy Griffin, an owner of Griffin Gardens in South Windham. The town had 5.1 inches of rain in 24 hours and Windham County saw the heaviest rain Thursday night. “The water was coming over the road, over the stone walls like a waterfall, moving the rocks from the stone walls down towards the fields.”

The Griffin family tried to move their plants to higher ground, but floodwaters washed many away, even taking tires that hold tarps down.

Southern areas had already received more rain than other areas this month, washing out roads in some places. The town of Peru has had measurable rain 23 of the 30 days this month and Putney has had 17.99 inches of rain. Meanwhile, Franklin County is still in a moderate drought, with Swanton only seeing three inches of rain this month.

In the town of Jamaica, floodwaters left mangled piles of trees and eroded property. “Things are just so saturated right now, it just can’t tolerate anymore,” said local resident Nancy Jean Henry. She says Irene’s waters came through her property almost 10 years ago, but didn’t cause as much damage as this storm, which took 20 feet of land from the streambank near her octagon. “Things were a little scary trying to take some pictures and the bank fell right out from underneath me as I stepped back.”

Late Thursday night and into the early hours of Friday, Henry says she was moving instruments out of her home to save them. “Luckily, the octagon didn’t go. But, don’t know what to do next. That’s our next phase. But in the meantime, all the instruments are safe, the dog is safe, and that’s all that counts,” she said.

Bellows Falls Fire Department crews went to the area of Hyde Hill, Laurel Avenue, and Wells Streets and found waist-deep water. Firefighters pumped water from the basements of half a dozen homes. They warn to be careful on the road, not only because of water but because of leftover debris.


Putney firefighters were busy with water issues as well and say several roads in town are now closed.

Additions: ⚠️Holland Hill @ Putney MTN RD CLOSED ⚠️Pine Banks Rd - @ Cox Rd to Town Line Rd CLOSED ⚠️East Putney...

Posted by Putney Fire Department on Thursday, July 29, 2021

Unfortunately, rain is in the forecast again for southern Vermont on Sunday.

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