(Photo by Brattleboro Interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland)
(Photo by Brattleboro Interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland)

BRATTLEBORO -- Route 9 was closed for more than an hour early Sunday morning when ice jams caused the Whetstone Brook to jump its banks.

Brattleboro officials responded to the scene just after 2 a.m. Sunday after receiving calls that water, and large chunks of ice were flowing across the road near the bridge to Westgate Drive in West Brattleboro.

"It happened pretty quickly," said Brattleboro Fire Chief Michael Bucossi. "It really didn't take too long for the ice to gather below the bridge and then for the brook to overflow."

The Brattleboro Fire Department sent out a press release Friday warning that rising temperatures and rain predicted for the region could lead to flooding.

According to Bucossi the department kept a close eye on the known trouble spots along the Whetstone Brook all day Saturday.

By evening, he said, emergency response officials thought the threat had ended as the rain ended and temperatures began to fall again.

Bucossi said he thinks the ice chunks might have broken loose farther up the Whetstone, in Marlboro, and then traveled down the stream.

When they hit the Westgate bridge, he said, water dammed up behind it and then flowed across Route 9 and onto land on the north side of the state highway.

Some vehicles in the area were affected and properties near the Westgate Apartments, and on the other side of the road in Tri-Park Mobile Homes, also were damaged.

On Monday morning large chunks of ice were still distributed throughout the affected area.

Bucossi said the situation took care of itself as the pressure forced the ice chunks away from the bridge and the brook returned to its normal level.

"We send out warnings to let people know that we are taking these warnings seriously," Bucossi said. "People need to be aware of the dangers of incoming possible weather hazards."

In Montpelier public safety officials have been working with a contractor to break up an ice jam in the Winooski River.

Several roads in Essex and Richmond also flooded this weekend.

And in New Hampshire Route 123A in Acworth and Interstate 93 and Route 3 in Thornton were closed due to flooding.

Bill Boynton, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said as of Monday morning, no roads were reported closed due to flooding or high water.

Brattleboro interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland said the fire department was joined by members of the Department of Public Works early Sunday morning.

No one was evacuated but Moreland said town officials were standing by in case residents did need to be moved out of harm's way.

"The water pushed the ice across Route 9 and we were out there clearing the road," Moreland said. "There is still some clean-up, and we are going to continue to monitor the river and ice, but things look good at this point."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at hwtisman@reformer.com; or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. You can follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.