In a First, Montpelier's Dam Threatens to Overflow

Residents of Vermont capital advised to seek higher ground in their homes just in case
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2023 12:50 PM CDT
In a First, Montpelier's Dam Threatens to Overflow
Montpelier resident Ben Cheney and a companion survey rising floodwaters at the intersection of State and Main streets in downtown Montpelier, Vt., on Monday, July 10, 2023.   (Jeb Wallace-Brodeur/The Times Argus via AP)

In a sign of just bad the flooding might get in Vermont's capital of Montpelier, police are urging residents to head to the upper floors of their homes, reports The reason? The nearby Wrightsville Dam, built in 1935, is almost at capacity. "This has never happened since the dam was built so there is no precedent for potential damage," said City Manager William Fraser. "There would be a large amount of water coming into Montpelier which would drastically add to the existing flood damage." An overflow would further engorge the Winooski River, which flows through the city.

Storms dumped 9 inches of rain on the state in two days, the equivalent of two months' worth, per the AP. While it stopped Tuesday morning, the rain is forecast to resume Thursday and Friday. The flooding has caused tens of millions of dollars in damage already, and more than 100 people and counting have been rescued by boat, per the Washington Post. So far, the state has not logged any fatalities, but given the numerous roads washed out, it could take days to complete searches. (Other parts of New England and New York also were reeling from the deluge of rain.)

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