Vermont residents, already max-out with clean-up and repair work in dozens of villages/towns from Hurricane Irene/Tropical Storm Irene, unfortunately are about to be hit with up to another 4 inches of rain in the next two days on already swollen rivers/streams and saturated ground.
Flood Watches Issued Again for Vermont, Northeast U.S.
Meteorologists have issued a flash-flood watch for the region ahead of showers and thunderstorms expected to soak the area again.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Burlington, Vt., issued the flash-flood watch for Vermont and northern New York for Sunday night through Tuesday morning. A slow-moving cold front is expected to dump as much as 4 inches of rain in some areas, with heavier amounts possible, locally.
Flood watches have also been issued across a portion of the Northeast, for parts of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Residents caught in heavy rain should immediately seek higher ground if they are near a waterway, the NWS said.
This is a potentially dangerous situation, the NWS said in a statement. Areas hard hit by tropical storm Irene last week will be susceptible to more flash flooding given the already wet and eroded ground. It will not take much rainfall to cause flash flooding in this situation.
The heavy rain in southern Vermont is expected on Monday and Monday night, Burlingtonfreepress.com reported Monday.
Rivers Already At Dangerous Levels, New Power Outages Expected
Hurricane Irene / Tropical Storm Irene caused at least three deaths in Vermont, and 46 along the U.S. East Coast. One person is still reported missing in Vermont. The storm also triggered power outages for 70,000 customers in Vermont, and all but 50 had been restored as of Sunday.
However, new power outages are expected, especially if the low pressure system's winds gust to higher levels, and topple more trees weakened by torrential rain and saturated ground.
On Sunday, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin was joined by U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Administrator Richard Serino for a town meeting at the South Royalton Fire Department. They fielded questions from flood-weary residents, burlingtonfreepress.com reported Monday. So far, FEMA has paid out $1.5 million in individual assistance to homeowners and other victimized by flood damage.
Political/Public Policy Analysis: Already hit-hard Vermont and New Jersey look like they have to brace for more. This time, however, with shelters open in advance of the rain, and officials knowing that it won't take much rain to cause swollen rivers to flood in unpredictable ways, officials can get citizens out of harms way, then hope the rains are mercifully less than expected, then move in with emergency teams and repair crews to continue the rebuilding process.
Without quetion, hard-hit Vermont and New Jersey are going to need a great of federal assistance to rebuild their infrastructures, and Congress should be prepared to pass a special appropriation, if needed.