News Flash

News Flash - 2022 Redesign

Posted on: December 18, 2023

December Flood Information

December Flood Information

Press Releases



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 18, 2023

William J. Fraser, City Manager


10:00am December Flood Update

MONTPELIER, VT—The river crested at 16.15 feet around 6:30 PM and was down to 10.43 feet as of 8:45am. Downtown streets did not flood and there is no apparent damage to first-floor businesses. A few basements needed pumping out, but most were empty thanks to precautions taken after the July flood. The City is not aware of any major residential damage at this time.

The City has closed the Emergency Operations Center and most City staff have resumed normal operations. Lower State Street has been reopened. City facilities sustained no flood damage.

Montpelier first responders did not receive any calls for rescues or other flood-related emergencies overnight. The Montpelier Volunteer Hub is open in front of City Hall to coordinate volunteers for any post-flood assistance that may be needed.

The Department of Public Works will be collecting sandbags throughout the day. Please put all unwanted sandbags at the edge of the roadway for pick-up. 

Since this was not a FEMA-declared disaster event, there will be no City-wide flood debris removal.  

DPW will continue to remove silt from the roadway throughout the day. Some areas that received the most washed-up debris are still too wet to adequately remove deposits of silt. Crews will return to those areas after they have dried enough to remove the remaining piles.


What You Should Do Now:


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8:00pm December Flood Update in Montpelier

MONTPELIER, VT—(8:0opm, December 18th, 2023). The Winooski River in Montpelier has begun to recede and is now at 15.00 feet. Several businesses needed to pump water from basements but damage was minimal due to many basements being empty as a precaution following the July flood. 

The National Weather Service is predicting the rain will taper off overnight with no significant precipitation expected to further exacerbate flooding. 

The City will continue to monitor the situation throughout the night and will use VT-Alert to communicate urgent information if needed. Please make sure you and your loved ones are registered to receive VT-Alerts so you will be informed in the event of an emergency. Sign up for VT-Alert here: https://vem.vermont.gov/vtalert ;

Please also sign up for email updates using Notify Me in the Popular Links menu on our homepage here: https://www.montpelier-vt.org/list.aspx. 

Go to the December Flood Information page on our website to view all of the City’s updates from today in one place.


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6:30pm December Flood Update in Montpelier

MONTPELIER, VT—(6:30pm, December 18th, 2023). As of 5:45pm, the Winooski River in Montpelier is now above flood stage at 16.00 feet. The National Weather Service is now predicting the river to crest at 16.7 feet, a slight downgrade from earlier predictions of 16.8.

What Does a River Level of 16 Feet of Water Look Like?

When Winooski Rive reaches 16 feet, Route 2 will flood at the Bailey Avenue Bridge, and the entrance to the Montpelier High School. Parking lots behind state office buildings next to the river will flood between Taylor Street and Bailey Avenue, and the approach to the Taylor Street bridge will be inundated. Low-lying fields and farmland will be inundated.

The City will continue to share regular updates as the storm continues. Please make sure you and your loved ones are registered to receive VT-Alerts so you will be informed of important emergency information. Sign up for VT-Alert here: https://vem.vermont.gov/vtalert

Please also sign up for email updates using Notify Me in the Popular Links menu on our homepage here: https://www.montpelier-vt.org/list.aspx.  

You can monitor the water level on the National Weather Service website here: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?gage=MONV1...

Historic River Heights in Montpelier:

- May 2011 = 17.59 feet

- August 29, 2011 (Tropical Storm Irene) = 19.05 feet

- July 10th, 2023 = 21.35 feet

- 1927 Flood = 27.10 feet

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3:30pm December Flood Update in Montpelier

MONTPELIER, VT—(3:30pm, December 18th, 2023) This afternoon, City department leaders canvased the downtown area alerting residents and businesses in some of the most-flood-prone areas. Some downtown businesses now have water coming into their basements. Lower State Street is closed due to water covering part of the road between Green Mount Cemetery and Bailey Ave. Check road closures and hazards on New England 511 here: https://newengland511.org/

The Department of Public Works is filling sandbags which are available at the Volunteer Hub in front of City Hall. To request sandbags, please contact the Volunteer Hub at https://montpelierhub.com/  The Red Cross has opened an emergency shelter at the Barre Auditorium. Pets are welcome at this shelter.

As of 2:45pm, the Winooski River in Montpelier is currently at 13.96 feet. You can monitor the water level on the National Weather Service website here: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?gage=MONV1... ;

What Does a River Level of 15 feet of Water Look Like?

If the Winooski Rive reaches 15 feet, flooding will begin on State Street at the Bailey Avenue bridge. Flooding may occur along Route 302 between Montpelier and Barre. Downstream from Montpelier to Waterbury, low-lying local roads and farmland would flood. Water will approach the State of Vermont office complex in Waterbury.

Historic River Heights in Montpelier:

- May 2011 = 17.59 feet

- August 29, 2011 (Tropical Storm Irene) = 19.05 feet

- July 10 & 11, 2023  = 21.35 feet

- 1927 Flood = 27.10 feet

The Wrightsville Dam has ample capacity to accommodate the increased flood water and is not a concern at this time. 

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Prepare for Flooding in Montpelier Today

MONTPELIER, VT— (12:00pm, December 18th, 2023). The City of Montpelier is actively out monitoring the rivers and flood conditions in the City. The National Weather Service has just upgraded Montpelier’s flood risk significantly. They now predict a Winooski peak of 16.8 feet which is above the 15-foot flood level. The prior projection had been 9.7. The July flood was around 20 feet.

The City will be providing regular updates on our website, Facebook pages, and through our email notification system.

City Staff will be closing the 60 State Street parking lot until further notice. DPW is working with Montpelier Police Department to have cars relocated. If you have a vehicle parked in this lot, please move your vehicle as soon as possible. If possible, please move your vehicle to higher ground.

Please make sure you are registered for VT-Alert so that you will receive emergency alerts and severe weather updates. Sign up for Vermont Alert here: https://vem.vermont.gov/vtalert

Please sign up for email updates on our website using Notify Me in the Popular links on our homepage.

What You Should Do Now:

- Prepare for moderate flooding in Montpelier today into tomorrow

- Sign up for VT-Alerts here: https://vem.vermont.gov/vtalert ;

- Move your vehicle to higher ground away from water sources and areas prone to flooding

- Sign up for email updates from the City of Montpelier here: https://www.montpelier-vt.org/list.aspx ;

- Check road closures and hazards on New England 511 here: https://newengland511.org/ ;

- If you need shelter, the Red Cross has opened an emergency shelter at the Barre Auditorium, 16 Auditorium Hill in Barre. 

- Elevate items in your basement and low first floors. If you need help elevating your items, please sign up using the Montpelier Volunteer Hub at https://montpelierhub.com/ ;

- Learn more about the current flood forecast: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?gage=MONV1... ;

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