Weather

Chester Fire Department

Town officials in Chester are still assessing the damage from Monday afternoon’s flash flooding. They say more than three inches of rain fell on Chester and the Williams River, creating the worst flooding since Tropical Storm Irene hit the area almost three years ago.

Town Manager David Pisha says a number of roads have washed out and culverts are plugged.

"The river moved up on Potash Brook Road, to the extent that we will probably be constructing a new bridge just to accommodate the move in the river," Pisha says.

Flash flooding closed roads in Chester and Andover yesterday. The Red Cross set up an evacuation shelter at the Chester Fire Department to support first responders and people who may have had to move to safety.

Rising floodwaters blocked roads for a time on Routes 11 and 103, but both roads have re-opened as of this morning.

The Red Cross says that one Chester woman’s home was devastated by flooding, and was possibly destroyed.

The shelter closed last night, and Vermont State Police say no one spent the night there.

Herb Swanson

Wouldn't it be great if you could have school closings, weather alerts and nearby road hazards all custom delivered to your phone or inbox? It's a technology that's already in full swing in New York, and is getting off the ground in Vermont.

Toby Talbot / AP/file

Last year at this time farm fields were soggy from rain. The bad weather hit dairy farms at a time when expenses outstripped income and it caused vegetable farmers to lose entire crops.  

It’s a different story this year: Milk prices are high and the weather is good.

In her job as Agronomy Outreach Professional with the University of Vermont Extension Service, Kirsten Workman visits farms throughout Addison and Chittenden counties. She remembers well the rains of last year.  

Kris Anderson

The day after Memorial Day a big storm hit Addison and Rutland County, raining down large hail and briefly touching off a tornado warning.

Kris Anderson returned home later to his farm in Addison to find a sight that sank his spirits and would positively make beer lovers, especially those who appreciate a fine IPA, weep openly. The storm had destroyed the 4,000 hops bines at his Addison Hop Farm.

Kris Anderson

A severe storm system moved through central Vermont on its way southeast this afternoon, producing a short-lived tornado warning and a shower of damaging hail.

While the tornado warning has expired, the National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for southern Windsor county and eastern Rutland county until 6 p.m.

Forecasters and storm chasers took to Twitter to document the storm, nostalgic, perhaps, for this year's punishing winter.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Rivers across the state are high and rising with a combination of snow melt and rain contributing to a surge, which officials say is likely to lead to flooding.

Update April 16th 6:30 a.m. The National Weather Service says that most rivers around Vermont should drop below flood stage today. But this morning, the freezing temperatures mean that many roadways are slippery. Crews are out, but Vermont Emergency Management is asking drivers to slow down on the roads and be mindful of conditions.

Officials in Montpelier are warning residents and business owners that a combination of melting snow Monday and rain on Tuesday could cause basement flooding along the North Branch of the Winooski River.

“Current trends indicate that the Winooski will crest at 14 feet late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning,” assistant city manager Jessie Baker said in a press release. Bakers said that level is "likely to result in basement flooding" near the river.

Angela Evancie / VPR

You know the old saying: March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, Wednesday and Thursday's weather may prove at least half of that adage true. A massive storm is hitting New England.

Track the National Weather Service radar for our region with this handy tool from WNYC.

Final Update 4:30 p.m. 3/13/14

Angela Evancie / VPR

With more than 100 reported accidents in the past 24 hours, this week's storm is proving to be one of the winter's most difficult for Vermont drivers. Vermont State Police Lt. Garry Scott, head of traffic operations, has some tips for winter driving.

Steve Zind / VPR

The Vermont Agency of Transportation says conditions are hazardous on most state roads as plow trucks try to keep up with the storm bearing down on the state.

At the VTrans garage in Randolph, there are just enough drivers to staff the trucks they have. Foreman Jerold Kinney says they’ll all be working until the storm is over.  

Charlotte Albright

It’s been a snowy February, and that’s got lots of kids outdoors building forts and snowmen. But what’s in that stuff, and how does it work?  During school vacation week, the Montshire Museum, in Norwich, invited some young scientists to experiment with winter’s chemistry set.

Just outside the back door of the museum, there’s a small snowdrift. It’s also an archeology dig for construction materials.  Montshire science educator Mike Fenzel gives three students, aged 8, 9 and 10, small hand saws, as he excavates layers of snow, then ice.

Wilson Ring / AP

Forget roses. What skiers and snowmobilers always want for Valentine’s Day is snow. And down it came.

Fresh powder piled up on Vermont Association of Snow Traveler trails that had been dangerously icy in spots. VAST Interim Executive Director Matt Tetrault said groomers have been scrambling to pack it down in time to get the most out of the three day weekend, and the school vacation week following Presidents’ Day.

Jim Cole / AP

The winter storm covering a large swath of the Northeast was responsible for one death in Vermont when slick roads led to tragedy on Interstate 91, according to the Vermont State Police.

Robert Trombley, 45, of Lee, Mass. was driving a tractor trailer on I-91 when he hit a guardrail. He got out of the cab and was standing in the road when another vehicle hit him. He was pronounced dead at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, police say.

Nina Keck / VPR

While most children in the state are enjoying a snow day Friday after yesterday's storm blanketed the state, heavy accumulations meant business owners spent much of the morning just getting to work and digging out.

Pittsford resident Larry McDuff fired up his snow blower at 5:30 a.m. 

"We're doing the neighbors and everybody around who we can help out," McDuff reported. "Everybody's snowed in. We got about 15 inches of snow up here."

Robin Turneau/ VPR

A Winter Storm Warning continues to be in effect for all of the state. The National Weather Service is predicting up to 18-inches of snow for areas of southern Vermont through the end of Friday.

The state of Vermont has authorized a reduced workforce for state employees working overnight and the opening of state offices will be delayed until 10:00 a.m. Friday. All essential employees should report to work as required.

Paul Carroll/Flickr

Vermont may have avoided some of the most extreme sub-zero temperatures during the Polar Vortex a few weeks back, but even still, this winter has been a cold one.

Staying safe means more than just wearing an extra sweater. There’s an up tick in residential fires during the winter. The region has been hit with several destructive blazes over the past few months.

Heating systems cause many of them, second only to kitchen fires. There have been at least 30 calls for Red Cross assistance this month alone.

Gov. Peter Shumlin requested federal assistance for Vermont to help pay for damage done in the ice storm that hit the northwest part of the state in late December.

The request, submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), covers Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille and Orleans counties.

AP/ Toby Talbot

The past few weeks of ice and snow have caused power outages, school closures, property damage and dangerous driving conditions for Vermonters.

The ice has also led to a higher number of personal injuries.

John Larabee never expected to hurt himself by falling down. On New Year’s Day he, like many others, was salting and chipping the ice in a driveway, when he unexpectedly took a spill.

“Down I went,” Larabee said. “The snowbanks were frozen. I had put all my weight onto my leg, and shattered my leg.”

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Heavy rain in some areas combined with overnight freezing rain has made for treacherous roadways Monday, causing multiple accidents as well as some flight delays.

Update 3:25 p.m. - Vermont Emergency Management officials are refreshing their earlier warnings that falling temperatures will cause some roads to freeze during evening rush hour. Scott Rogers, the director of operations for the Vermont Agency of Transportation says drivers should reduce speeds and avoid sudden turns or braking.

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