Flash flood compromises section of Amtrak rail route


Norwich washout. Jack Cushman, courtesy photo

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Agency of Transportation says flash flooding has washed out roads in several areas of the state and temporarily ended Amtrak service.

About 800 feet of New England Central Rail track in West Hartford has been compromised due to a bank becoming unstable from the saturated ground.

Passengers traveling on the Vermonter Amtrak service will be bused to destinations.

A number of state highways were closed on Saturday, but most were reopened Sunday. Crews have been deployed to repair roads and flood waters have receded in most affected areas, according to state officials.

Roads that remain closed or restricted include:

  • VT U.S. 5 in Norwich is closed between Main Street and River Road and may not be fully open until Monday.
  • Route 125 from the Ripton Store west to U.S. 7 is reduced to one lane in places due to flooding.
  • Route 30 in Pawlet, just south of Route 133 near Sheldon’s Store, is down to one lane and may not be fully open until Monday.
  • Route 14 in South Randolph near South Randolph Road has some lane restrictions.

Many local roads were also affected by flooding. Town and VTrans officials will assess damage and repair costs over the next few days.

The following roads were closed on Saturday but were reopened on Sunday.

  • Route 100 in Rochester has reopened.
  • Route 100 in Warren has reopened.
  • Route 125 in Middlebury has reopened.
  • Route 302 in Groton has reopened.
  • Route 133 in Pawlet/Tinmouth has reopened.

Vermont Emergency Management officials say far northern and southern areas of the state received from 1 inch to 2 inches of rainfall Saturday, and many central Vermont towns received 3 inches to 4 inches.

Officials urge motorists to respect closures and detours and never drive over a flooded road, as unseen washouts can sweep away a vehicle.

Natural swimming holes in rivers and other waterways will have high levels and dangerous currents until waters recede further. Visit http://demhs.vermont.gov/news/swimming-hole-safety for more information.

Amtrak can be contacted directly at www.amtrak.com or 1-800-USA-RAIL.

Additional road condition information can be found at 511vt.com.

Anne Galloway

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