Cleaning up from the big storm

It’s been a busy week for public works departments throughout Northern and Central Vermont after Monday’s record-setting storm. In Burlington, Public Works Director Steve Goodkind told The Burlington Free Press that crews have been operating 11 tractor-mounted snowblowers for a total of 24 hours in order to clear the snow off city sidewalks. Goodkind has urged residents to keep their vehicles out of workzones. Do you have any storm stories or pictures you would like to share? Let us know.

A major concern around the state is potential flooding that could occur later this week with expected rain coupled with snowmelt. Montpelier City Officials have asked residents and business owners to prepare for potential flooding if an ice jam forms in the Winooski River, News Channel 5 reports. 

If flooding occurs while you are on the road, remember these tips from  FEMA and the NOAA:

  1. Flash floods can come rapidly and unexpectedly. They can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, or when a dam or levee fails and even a sudden release of water held by an ice or debris jam. Be cautious during storm seasons, or any time that flooding is common in your area.
  2. You may not have warning that a flash flood is approaching.
  3. Do not drive unless absolutely necessary.
  4. Do not drive through flooded areas. If you see a flooded-out road ahead, turn around. Find another route to your destination.
  5. If there is no other route, get to higher ground and wait for the waters to subside.
  6. Even if the water appears shallow enough to cross, don’t try it. Water hides dips in the road. Worse yet, there may be no road at all under the water. Flooding can scour away the entire road surface and a significant amount of ground beneath.
  7. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
  8. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control or possible stalling.
  9. One foot of water will float almost many vehicles.
  10. Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles — including SUVs and pick-ups.

Let’s all hope for the best in the aftermath from this massive winter storm. Remember to check in on neighbors and make sure they are doing OK. Spring will be here eventually!

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About vtlocalroads

The Vermont Local Roads Program at Saint Michael’s College is part of the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), a nationwide effort financed jointly by the Federal Highway Administration and individual State Departments of Transportation. Its purpose is to provide road and bridge know-how to municipal people involved with highways. There are LTAP Centers in 50 states and Puerto Rico and six Native American locations. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations presented on this page are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of FHWA, VAOT or Saint Michael’s College. All references to proprietary items in this publication are not endorsements of any company or products. Sponsored by the Vermont Agency of Transportation, the Vermont Local Roads Program provides information, training and technical assistance to cities, towns and villages in Vermont. This is done by newsletters, seminars and workshops, distribution of publications and by response to requests.
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