Flooding in Vermont, USA - July 2023
Vermont, USA, July 2023
Record heavy rain from 09 to 11 July 2023 triggered the worst flooding seen in the state of Vermont, USA, since Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
On 11 July Governor Phil Scott declared a State of Disaster for all of Vermont’s 14 counties. “Make no mistake, the devastation and flooding we’re experiencing across Vermont is historic and catastrophic.
“Flood waters continue to rise in some places like our capital city and have surpassed levels seen during Tropical Storm Irene,” the governor said.
Areas of the state capital, Montpelier, along with Barre, Ludlow, Londonderry, Andover and surrounding towns were the hardest hit, according to Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Jennifer Morrison.
Dozens of people evacuated their homes in flooded areas. Swift water rescue teams performed more than 100 rescues from 10 to 12 July. On 12 July 2023, state officials reported one person died in flood waters in Barre.
In late July, figures provided by the state government using self-assessment reports indicated damage to 4,087 residential units and 839 businesses.
Rainfall and Rivers
The National Weather Service reported the highest 48-hour rainfall total was 9.20 inches / 233.68 mm in Calais, Vermont.
The 5.28 inches / 134.11 mm of rainfall at the airport in Montpelier was the greatest calendar day rainfall at the site since records began in 1948, beating the previous record of 5.27 inches set with Tropical Storm Irene on 28 August 2011, NWS said.
Many areas of the state had already seen heavy rainfall during the first days of July, and ground was already saturated and river levels swollen. July 2023 was the wettest month on record for Montpelier, NWS said.
Following the intense rain from 09 to 11 July, multiple rivers broke their banks in particular the Winooski and Lamoille rivers.
The Winooski River at Montpelier jumped by over 14 feet in the space of 20 hours on 10 July. The river crested at 21.35 feet / 6.5 metres on 11 July, which is well above Major Flood Stage of 17.5 feet.
“This exceeded the crest associated with Irene by more than 2 feet, and is second only to the crest of 27.10 feet observed on 03 November 1927”, NWS said.
Image 1: Observed 48-hour rainfall amounts (inches) for the period 8 am EDT, 09 to 11 July 2023. Analysis by NWS Burlington. Image credit: NWS
Image 2: Levels of the Winooski River at Montpelier, Vermont. Image credit: NOAA/ NWS
Image 3: A UH-72 Lakota Helicopter assigned to the 1t Battalion, 224th Aviation Battalion, Vermont National Guard, flies over the Capital of Vermont in Montpellier, Vermont, July 11, 2023. This units mission was to survey heavy rain damage and report if there were stranded people that needed rescuing due to the recent storm that caused flooding throughout Vermont. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Michael Davis)
Image 4: A UH-72 Lakota Helicopter assigned to the 1t Battalion, 224th Aviation Battalion, Vermont National Guard, flies over Richmond Village, Vermont, July 11, 2023. This units mission was to survey heavy rain damage and report if there were stranded people that needed rescuing due to the recent storm that caused flooding throughout Vermont. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Michael Davis)
By Richard Davies Sept. 12, 2023, 10:54 a.m.