Rain, snowmelt trigger flooding across the region

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WATERBURY, Vt. (WCAX) Flooding fears across Vermont-- a combination of snowmelt and rain had waterways overflowing their banks across the state.

We sent crews to Rutland, Royalton and Waterbury to bring you the very latest.

Our Ike Bendavid followed the flooding in Washington County, where he found fields full of water in Waterbury and spoke with a homeowner watching the flood creep closer to his house.

Bo Garland just bought a house on Route 2 in Waterbury to renovate it. But his first spring as the homeowner, flooding in the field across the street and in his yard have him concerned.

"If the water comes up another four feet... if it hits the road, it's in the house," Garland said.

Reporter Ike Bendavid: Are you concerned at all? It's getting pretty close.
Bo Garland: Oh, for sure. Probably move my truck and stuff.

"You could say to a point it is spring in Vermont and that you never know what you're going to have," said Mark Bosma of Vermont Emergency Management.

Just down the road at the emergency management headquarters, crews have been fielding calls from around the state.

"We will be on but however long we are here depends on the rivers," Bosma said.

The snowmelt and rain flooded areas in our region. Vermont Emergency Management says they are unsure about the amount of damages across the state but they are working to make sure everyone is safe and accounted for.

"For the towns impacted-- this is a disaster," Bosma said.

Back at his house, Garland says that this summer he plans to change the landscape around the house.

"Hopefully lift it up four feet or so," he said.

Vermont Emergency Management is reporting no injuries from the flooding. In a few weeks, they'll have a tally of all the damage.

FLOODING CLOSES ROADS, FORCES EVACUATIONS

Many roads throughout the state shut down Monday because of the weather, but the flooding wasn't limited to roads.

Our Joe Carroll was in Southern Vermont, where rising waters forced the residents of a trailer park out of their homes.

The Black River in Ludlow is raging. It's a one-two punch with a lot of rain.

Route 103 just south of the village had limited traffic for much of the day. But the Black River Park got walloped by the flooding.

Elizabeth Sheehan, whose father-in-law owns the park, lives next door.

"My daughter came in, woke us up at 6 o'clock and looked out the window and said, 'Oh, we've got to move some cars! It's getting pretty darn high.' And we looked over and police and fire were over at the park and evacuated people," Sheehan said.

The Ludlow town manager says rescue crews reached all the residents except for two who had to be evacuated with a highway bucket loader. A community center across the street provided food and hot showers.

But it wasn't just the Black River that crested its banks. The Otter Creek in Pittsford looked more like a lake. Down the road in Rutland Town, the East Creek overflowed and closed Post Road. Just before noon, the road opened but the nearby Department of Motor Vehicles didn't. Officials say the state workers couldn't get past a flooded driveway.

Brian Bowdish made the trip from Salisbury and was disappointed that they didn't open up in the afternoon.

"I can understand with the flooding but it's not that bad. It's been worse before," Bowdish said.

And in Rutland, the city fire department was ready for more flooding.

"We have flooding in the Otter Creek and the tributaries that go into that," Rutland City Fire Chief James Larsen said.

As a backup, the Middlebury Technical Rescue Squad was there.

Monday morning had already been busy for the Rutland City Fire Department. A man from New York wanted to go backwoods skiing at Killington and parked near the Skyline Gondola just off Route 4.

Chief James Larsen: And found a parking lot to sleep in last night and was not aware of the flood warnings and woke up to water running through his vehicle.
Reporter Joe Carroll: He must have been a little bit surprised.
Chief James Larsen: More than a little.

A waterlogged but thankful survivor of the flooding that hit Southern Vermont.