Bottom line: Keep an eye on rivers and streams
The National Weather Service has forecast warm temperatures and rain for Vermont this weekend. While a break in the cold weather we have been experiencing lately could be a nice respite, the new conditions could present some challenges for Vermonters.
The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for all of Vermont except Grand Isle County, for the potential of localized ice jam flooding. A Flood Watch means that flooding is possible under certain conditions, but is not imminent.
NWS says rain combined with warmer temperatures will lead to rises on rivers and streams, causing ice movement and potential ice breakup. It is possible that as the ice breaks up, an ice jams forms and causes fast developing flooding upstream of the jam. If an ice jam breaks, a sudden release of water can cause flooding in areas downstream.
Vermonters are encouraged to be prepared to take appropriate action based on circumstances. Ice jams and the resulting flooding are highly unpredictable, and can happen in a matter of minutes. Those who live or travel near river or streams that are prone to ice jams are encouraged to closely monitor the situation, as some roads may become impassible due to flooding from a localized ice jam.
In addition, the National Weather Service says many drains and culverts are snow and ice covered, and this will result in significant ponding of water on some area roads.
It’s also suggested you monitor radio, TV, media web sites, and social media sites maintained by emergency response and weather organizations for updates.
You can receive weather, emergency, and other updates from Vermont Alert. VT Alert delivers messages to your cell phone, e-mail, or landline. Sign up for a free account at www.vtalert.gov.
If you encounter a flooded road never drive or walk across it. Flooded roads could have unseen washouts.
If at any time of year you lose power and use a generator – make certain the generator is outside in a well-ventilated area and not venting exhaust into the home. Carbon monoxide can make you sick and can kill. Make sure heat vents are clear of snow, water, and ice as a blocked heating vent can also cause carbon monoxide to enter the home. Always have a working CO detector in your home and if you suspect CO poisoning go outside and call for emergency responders.
Storm information and other safety recommendations can be found at the following sites:
VT DEMHS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vermontemergencymanagement
VT DEMHS on Twitter: @vemvt … https://twitter.com/vemvt
National Weather Service Albany (Forecast office for Bennington and Windham counties): http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/aly/
National Weather Service Burlington (Rest of Vermont): http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/btv/
NWS Burlington on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.Burlington.gov
NWS Albany on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.Albany.gov
Vermont power outages: www.vtoutages.com
Vermont Division of Fire Safety: http://firesafety.vermont.gov/
Road conditions: www.511vt.com
Media Contact: Mark Bosma, Public Information Officer, Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, (800) 347-0488, http://vem.vermont.gov