‘Do Not Be Complacent’: Scott Warns of More Rain for Soaked Vermont | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice


‘Do Not Be Complacent’: Scott Warns of More Rain for Soaked Vermont


Published July 13, 2023 at 12:33 p.m.
Updated July 26, 2023 at 2:05 p.m.

Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday - FILE: KEVIN MCCALLUM ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • File: Kevin McCallum ©️ Seven Days
  • Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday
State officials are warning Vermont residents to remain vigilant ahead of a band of intense thunderstorms forecast to sweep into the state Thursday afternoon. Then, a lull is expected before another round of rain strikes on Sunday.

While flood waters from this week’s historic flooding continue to recede, Gov. Phil Scott urged residents to pay close attention to the weather forecast, avoid going out Thursday evening and to use common sense. Officials worry there could be more flooding as the rain hits high-running rivers and the already-soaked ground.

“Unfortunately, parts of the state are now expecting severe thunderstorms, which could bring flash flooding, hail and even the threat of a tornado,” Scott said. “If you need to do something today, do it early — don’t want until tonight.”

The National Weather Service warned that thunderstorms producing high winds, heavy rainfall and even hail were expected to move into the state beginning in mid-afternoon. Up to 2 inches of rain are forecasted in certain parts of the state.

Storms could produce local flash flooding, and high winds, combined with already saturated soils, mean trees could be easily uprooted, said Seth Kutikoff, a meteorologist with the weather service.

“This is a very well-defined line of gusty winds that could be damaging along that line statewide,” Kutikoff said.
  • National Weather Service
Winds are likely to begin picking up in the Champlain Valley mid-afternoon and could reach 50 miles per hour in some places, he said. Because the storm is narrow and fast moving, rainfall totals are likely to be moderate but highly variable depending on how long the showers linger over a specific area, Kutikoff said.

Rainfall totals are likely to range from less than a quarter of an inch in some places to about an inch and half in others, he said. The storm should largely leave the state by 10 p.m.

“The likelihood of localized flash flooding is high,” Public Safety Commissioner Jennifer Morrison said. “We are preparing, and we ask that you do the same.”
Shelters operated by the American Red Cross are open in Barre, Rutland, White River Junction, Johnson, Ludlow, and at Smuggler’s Notch Resort;  local shelters are also open for people affected by the storm.

After Thursday's thunderstorms, residents will need to prepare for another storm arriving Sunday, Scott said. Weather service officials did not have specific estimates yet for that rainfall, but said Sunday will be "an active day."

"I know this is hard news for many, and folks will want to think this is over as soon as the weather breaks on Saturday," the governor said. "But it's critical that Vermonters understand that we need to remain vigilant and prepared. Do not be complacent."
This means using common sense like staying off roads if possible during severe weather, obeying signs for closed road, and never driving into moving water.

"Do not put yourself in a position where rescue teams are diverted, and put at risk themselves because you decided to take a chance," Scott said.

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