Flooding in Wilmington following Labor Day storm


WILMINGTON -- The storm over the weekend didn't allow some town employees and business owners to celebrate on Labor Day.

Wilmington Wastewater Treatment Plant Chief Operator John Lazelle regularly reports to the town after fast flood warnings and measures the rainfall.

He had an interesting point to deliver on Tuesday, noted Wilmington Town Manager Scott Murphy: "'For a small time during this storm, it was coming down faster than Irene,' which is scary," Murphy said. "I guess it's Mother Nature's way of saying, ‘Don't count me out yet.'"

On Sept. 1, parts of Wilmington had received close to 5 inches of rain. Residents had lost power for about five hours.

Murphy called it a "very localized storm," stating that certain areas had no rain, while others had severe storms.

He said the Wilmington Road Crew was out that night clearing culverts and making sure the water had a place to go.

"The (Deerfield Valley) River rose about 9 feet out but then started receding shortly after, early in the morning," said Murphy. "Things are looking good today. There's a little bit of clean up."

Towards the west end of the village, one or two business owners had reported flooding to town officials.

Vermont Bowls Owner John McLeod told the Reformer about a state-owned culvert that had caused flooding to occur inside his business. Water had backed up at a culvert located at the west end of his shop.

"We were flooded out as usual for a second time in history," he said. "We are getting very good support from the Secretary of the Agency of Transportation in order to get our culvert seen to. It's been requiring attention for quite some time."

State Sen. Bob Hartwell told McLeod that there was a team being assembled to resolve the problem with the culvert at the west end of his property. Potential plans include increasing the size of the existing culvert or creating a new one altogether.

"The problem is how often will this happen again," said McLeod. "We do seem to have a greater intensity of storms with the change in climate and that's what we're concerned with."

McLeod noted a graph released from the Wilmington Wastewater Treatment Plant, which showed that between 3 and 4 p.m., the rate of rainfall had gone from 3 to 7.5 inches then back down to 2.5 inches.

In the east end of the village, where the White House Inn and Wahoo's Eatery are located, water was rushing down Route 9, causing traffic to slow.

"Emergency services, especially the police, managed to keep it open to move traffic from east to west," said Murphy.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions