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Video: Flooding closes roads in White River Valley; warning issued for West Lebanon

  • A motorist stops to turn around on Falls Hill Road in Tunbridge, Vt., after an overnight storm caused the First Branch of the White River to overflow its banks. Route 110 from Howe Lane to Russell Road was closed after a section of the road was under a foot of water (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Vermont Agency of Transportation worker Daryl Benson checks his phone while he and a co-worker turn away commuters at the intersection of Route 110 and Howe Lane in Tunbridge, Vt., on April 15, 2019. At 8 a.m., they said the road had been closed to Russell Road for about an hour after overnight rains caused the First Branch of the White River to overflow its banks. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writers
Monday, April 15, 2019

SOUTH ROYALTON — Flooding from heavy rain and snowmelt today closed several roads across the White River Valley, swamped downtown Quechee and sent the Connecticut River toward flood stage at West Lebanon.

The parking lot between the Quechee Post Office and Simon Pearce is closed, as is the post office itself. Today is the deadline to mail tax returns. 

A crew of five men had been at Simon Pearce since 5 a.m. Monday morning pumping excess water out of the foundation. 

The restaurant uses a hydro-turbine for as the building’s energy source, so water is “naturally supposed to go under the building,” said John Lobb, a senior vice president at Simon Pearce. Some of the glass-blowing and kitchen staff pitched in to help when that water level got too high. 

“If we get two more inches this afternoon, that’s a problem,” Lobb said. 

Several people stood near the Quechee Covered Bridge midday  to look at the rushing river or take pictures and video, including Pomfret resident Laura Foley. The bridge was replaced after the flooding from Tropical Storm Irene, and the height of the river reminded her of the deluge. 

“It’s scary to see,” she said. “You see the power of the water. I’m impressed by (it).” 

Rainfall and snowmelt are contributing to the rising river levels, said Andrea LaRocca, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Burlington. 

Some parts of the White River Valley received 1 to 1.5 inches of rain and others have seen up to 4 inches of snow melt in the past day. 

During Irene in 2011, the crest of the White River at West Hartford was 28.4 inches, compared to an expected crest today of 15.5 inches.

In Vermont, the First Branch of the White River overran its banks in Tunbridge, and part of Route 110 is closed.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation said Route 14 is closed to through traffic between South Royalton and the Sharon town line. One lane of travel is open for northbound motorists traveling from South Royalton to Bethel.

Vermont Law School has closed for the day, as has its day-care center on campus.

In Hartford, Podunk Road is washed out, and the Quechee West Hartford Road in the area of Westfield is partially flooded but passable, according to Hartford authorities. 

Authorities this morning said more roads are expected to close as rivers rise.

Posted at 10:15 a.m. Updated at 12:05 p.m. and 1:45 p.m.