Amid flooding, CT search and rescue team deploys to Vermont
An eight-member urban search and rescue team from Connecticut is in Vermont helping to move people trapped by rising flood waters.
A storm that dumped up to two months of rain in just two days in Vermont and other parts of the Northeast brought more flooding Tuesday to communities marooned by water.
Connecticut volunteer crews responded to a request for assistance from Vermont that came in Monday, said Brenda Bergeron with the state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
The crew towed a trailer with two small boats to help people stranded by the flood waters.
They rescued five stranded victims, and an additional two cats and a dog.
"They were sweeping residences that were flooded along a particular section of the Winooski River," Bergeron said.
The storm was hitting Vermont's capital region and areas around rivers particularly hard, Bergeron said.
The flooding has already caused tens of millions of dollars in damage, officials said, with more to come: If water pours over the dam on the Winooski River that flows through Montpelier, it could surge through downtown blocks where the floods were already waist-high.
“Floodwaters continue to rise in some places, like our capital city, and have surpassed the levels seen during Tropical Storm Irene,” Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said. Irene killed six people in Vermont in August 2011, washing homes off their foundations and damaging or destroying more than 200 bridges and 500 miles of highway.
The sun was out Tuesday and more sunshine was expected Wednesday. But more rain was forecast Thursday and Friday.
“We are not out of the woods,” Scott said. “This is nowhere near over.”
He tweeted that the roads around his house were impassable Tuesday morning, so he had to hike through the woods to reach the state’s emergency response center.
So far, there have been no reports of injuries or deaths related to the flooding in Vermont, where swift-water rescue teams aided by National Guard helicopter crews have done more than 100 rescues, Vermont Emergency Management said Tuesday.
Bergeron said the number of people rescued by Connecticut crews may change as crews continue their work in the coming days.
Crews are expected to remain in Vermont for the next few days depending on the weather.
Connecticut Public's Patrick Skahill and The Associated Press contributed to this report.