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Gov. Phil Scott: Vermont 'not out of the woods' with severe flooding

Note: For the latest updates on the storm and flooding, check the Vermont Public live blog.

Gov. Phil Scott, in a media briefing Tuesday morning, urged Vermonters to remain vigilant and follow directives from public safety officials as communities across the state grapple with widespread flooding and washed out roads.

“Make no mistake, the devastation and flooding we are experiencing across Vermont is historic and catastrophic,” Scott said. “Floodwaters continue to rise in some places like our capital city, and have surpassed the levels seen during Tropical Storm Irene.”

Administration officials say Vermont is still at the earliest stages of this disaster and that evacuations, and rescues are ongoing.

And Scott issued a stark warning to Vermonters this morning that the emergency was far from over.

“Even though the sun may shine later today and tomorrow, we expect more rain later this week which will have nowhere to go in the oversaturated ground,” Scott said. “So I want to be clear — we are not out of the woods.”

Scott administration officials held a media briefing Tuesday at 11 a.m. offering an update on the ongoing flooding battering Vermont. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • As of 9:30 a.m. officials say there have been no reported injuries or deaths.
  • There have been more than 100 swift water rescues so far.
  • The Vermont National Guard has deployed in conjunction with Vermont Emergency Management to help with search and rescue operations. The National Guard will use helicopters to conduct search and rescue operations in hard hit, remote areas that can’t be accessed by the swift water teams.
  • Rescues are actively happening. There are six out-of-state urban search and rescue teams operating in Vermont and officials say they expect search and rescue operations to last for at least several days.
  • At least 78 roads across the state are closed, though state officials say Interstate-89 both northbound and southbound have reopened.
  • Please don’t try to help by traveling into flooded areas. “For now, please focus your volunteer energy at the hyper local level,” said Jennifer Morrison, commissioner of public safety. “Check on your neighbors and the most vulnerable in your neighborhood.” You can register at to help with future volunteer efforts.

More from Vermont Public: How to help with flood recovery in Vermont

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Brittany Patterson joined Vermont Public in December 2020. Previously, she was an energy and environment reporter for West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the Ohio Valley ReSource. Prior to that, she covered public lands, the Interior Department and forests for E&E News' ClimateWire, based in Washington, D.C. Brittany also teaches audio storytelling and has taught classes at West Virginia University, Saint Michael's College and the University of Vermont. She holds degrees in journalism from San Jose State University and U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. A native of California, Brittany has fallen in love with Vermont. She enjoys hiking, skiing, baking and cuddling with her rescues, a 95-pound American Bulldog mix named Cooper, and Mila, the most beautiful calico cat you'll ever meet.
Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.
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