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Flooding Update: Gov. Scott & State Leaders Hold Press Conference to Update Vermonters (7.11.23)

Flooding Update: Gov. Scott & State Leaders Hold Press Conference to Update Vermonters (7.11.23)

State of Vermont Flooding Press Conference Notes (7.11.23)

Watch the recording of the press conference here.



Governor Phil Scott, Vermont

  • President Biden approved Vermont's Emergency Declaration for all 14 VT counties, which helps the state fast-track recovery efforts and support
  • July 2023 flooding is historic and catastrophic
  • Flood waters continue to rise and have surpassed Tropical Storm Irene levels in some spots across the state
  • More rain later this week, there will be nowhere for it to go with our highly saturated ground
  • The current focus is on life and safety until VT can shift into the recovery phase
  • Vermonters working around the clock to save lives, help those in need
  • If you need help call 2-1-1, if you're in a life-or-death situation call 9-1-1

Jen Morrison, Commissioner, VT Department of Public Safety

  • Stay away from impacted areas, water and levels remain dynamic
  • 100 rescues from 13 swift water teams (5 additional teams from other states)
  • 5 helicopters from VT & NH Nat Guard are in VT skies
  • DO NOT take chances – RESPECT all detours, road signs, and emergency personnel
  • Interstate 89 N/S now reopened (down to 1 lane Northbound)
  • Structural collapse and Fire & Code officials have been spread throughout the state to assess damage and safety
  • UAV’s (unmanned ariel vehicles) being deployed to aid search efforts
  • As of 9:30 Tues, no injuries or deaths reported – FOCUS on saving lives, areas are still being evacuated
  • Vermonters are asked to focus volunteer efforts at the hyperlocal level
  • If you're in need of shelter – call 211, follow the directions of local officials, OR head straight to a local shelter
  • “Stay safe & take care of each other”

Col. Tracey Poirier, VT National Guard

  • VT National Guard has deployed alongside VT Emergency Management Center
  • Currently have assets in the air – supporting eyes in the sky & recovery efforts
  • Quick Reaction Force has been deployed

Mike Cannon, Program Coordinator, VT Urban Search & Rescue

  • 117 rescues, 76+ evacuations
  • Still in a dangerous phase of this disaster
  • Reports of people still trapped
  • State Urban rescue team activated
  • Operating 24hr a day since 3:00 pm Sunday
  • Going to be a long-term search & rescue op – several days if not more
  • Even though the sun is shining, DO NOT ignore signage, stay away from waterways, conditions are still extremely dangerous
  • DO NOT drive around barricades of any kind
  • PLEASE follow all directions from state leaders and emergency crews

Joe Flynn, Secretary, VT Agency of Transportation

  • 78 closed roads currently
  • RT 2 in many places is closed
  • RT 7 in many places is closed
  • RT 15 in Cambridge, Johnson, Wolcott
  • 89 Northbound open to 1 lane
  • As the water recedes, VTRANS personnel working to assess road conditions in those areas

Other Updates:

  • 89 Northbound closed to one lane because of possible asphalt and structural degradation underneath the roadway
  • Our mountainous region has impacted the flow of rainwater, from Sunday on, conditions were drastically different from one town to another
  • Communication frequency is quick and constant between agencies
  • 9 AOT districts across VT – all garages have good repour with local towns and officials – communication is going top to bottom and bottom to top
  • Gov. Scott is very concerned for the next few days – Vermonters CANNOT soften their safety approach – despite the sunshine, the danger is not over
  • officials continue to monitor dams & reservoirs around the state – some dams are nearing their storage capacity, rainfall expected on Thursday and Friday will be the important factors in the state's response
  • State leaders do feel some of the mitigation efforts put in place after Tropical Storm Irene have helped to lessen the impact of this most recent situation

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