WATERBURY – Areas of Vermont are still under water but rivers are now receding.
Much of the state is starting to dry out but there are still many hazards and the public is encouraged to exercise caution. Everyone is asked to stay off roads unless absolutely necessary. Many roads are still damaged, and many may be washed out under the road surface and could give away at any time.
A number of towns are asking that all traffic stay away, please respect detours and all road closures.
Local road closures are too many to list. It is estimated more than 250 roads around the state are damaged, many of them are impassable. Every state road with the exception of Interstates 89 and 91 were closed at least for a time and many are still closed.
Transportation and emergency officials are out today ensuring citizens are accounted for, assessing damage, and determining what areas are safe.
All state offices are closed on Monday due to hazardous travel conditions.
Homeowners should not return to a flooded home or turn on their circuit breaker until the electrical system has been inspected by a licensed electrician. Wires could be wet and could lead to electrocution if not inspected.
Around 50,000 power customers are without service. Restoring power may be slowed for some utilities because of road conditions. That is another reason to stay off the roads. Power restoration will take some time, so patience will be necessary.
The Vermont Fuel Dealers Association reports that “many service technicians are out chasing propane tanks that have been swept away in the floods. Homeowners with above ground storage tanks should contact their propane provider immediately if their tank has moved from its foundation or if they smell gas.”
Those who need road conditions should call 511 or go to www.511vt.com … do NOT call 211 for road conditions.
There are currently six Red Cross shelters open:
Brattleboro, VT – Brattleboro Union High School – Fairground Road
Springfield, VT – Springfield High School — 303 South Street
Hartford, VT – Hartford High School – 37 Highland Avenue
Rutland, VT – Rutland High School – 22 Stratton Road
Barre, VT – Barre Auditorium
St. Johnsbury, VT – The St. Johnsbury School – 257 Western Avenue
Vermont Emergency Management has moved its Emergency Operations Center to the FEMA offices in Burlington. Contact information for the media is 802-951-2708. The VEM e-mail server is also down, a temporary e-mail address for the press to contact the information office is firstname.lastname@example.org .