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Rescuers brace for more rain in the Northeast as storms swamp Vermont's capital

As rescue workers in Vermont prepared for further rain and flooding from a storm that left a trail of destruction and resulted in at least one death across the Northeast, President Biden authorized Vermont's disaster declaration early on Tuesday.

The White House issued the directive to supplement local and state efforts in flood-affected areas while Vice President Biden is in Vilnius, Lithuania, for a NATO summit with leaders from Europe and North America.

In order to allow the Winooski River to recede, the city of Montpelier's emergency health order, which was posted late Monday night, closed the downtown area until at least Tuesday noon. Early on Monday night, city officials warned residents to avoid the area because of toxic floodwaters.

At a press conference on Monday, Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced the state of emergency earlier in the day due to the possibility of rainfall amounts in some areas exceeding those seen during Hurricane Irene in 2011.

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Authorities in Vermont sent out teams from other states as well as those from North Carolina and Massachusetts since they anticipated they would not have enough resources to handle the storm within at least 48 hours. According to Vermont's Urban Search and Rescue Program Coordinator Mike Cannon, mutual aid has also been provided by Michigan and Connecticut.

The village of Okemo, in southern Vermont, sustained catastrophic devastation, according to Brendan McNamara, town manager of Ludlow, Vermont, who also said that the rivers started spilling over their banks early on Monday morning.

"The onion isn't even peeled back at all right now," he added of the extent of the harm that has been done to Ludlow. I mean, Main Street is where we have access, and it is not excellent, so I'm walking up and down it.

Rescue teams attempted to get access to inaccessible neighborhoods in Vermont towns like Londonderry and Weston in order to carry out ongoing welfare checks, according to Cannon.


Daniel Jack

For Daniel, journalism is a way of life. He lives and breathes art and anything even remotely related to it. Politics, Cinema, books, music, fashion are a part of his lifestyle.