Douglas, federal officials assessing flood damage

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(Host) State and federal authorities have spent the morning assessing damage from floods that washed over parts of Addison and Windsor counties.

Governor Jim Douglas took a road tour of some of the worst damage in areas east of Middlebury.

(Douglas) “The most significant problem I think is the village of Ripton, that’s isolated because Route 125 is closed both west and east of that area. It took us 40 minutes to get to Ripton from Middlebury because we had to snake our way through the north branch road, the Lincoln Road, some back roads that make it very difficult to get up to Ripton in an emergency.”

(Host) Douglas and the regional administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency also surveyed the damage from a Vermont National Guard helicopter.

FEMA’s Art Cleaves say the latest storm damage is likely to qualify for federal assistance.

(Cleaves) “We wanted to look today, to be with the governor and director Farr as we look at the damages from the most current storm that just happened yesterday, to see that first hand. And I saw significant damages as the governor just described today.”

(Host) Ripton was hit by floods in June and was still repairing damage from that series of storms. Some of the roads the town had fixed were washed out again.

Douglas says Vermont Transportation Agency crews are working to restore at least one lane of Route 125 to Ripton by the end of the day.

He says that’s important so emergency crews have access to the town.

Douglas also says he’s concerned that there’s more rain in the forecast.

(Douglas) “all of our rivers and streams are quite high now, even where there’s been no damage, the rivers are running high and there’s not any capacity for additional rainfall. So, I would urge all Vermonters to maintain vigilance in their personal lives and property and to stay aware of warnings that the emergency management office may be putting out over the coming days to ensure they don’t suffer any other harm.”

(Host) Douglas plans to meet this afternoon with the National Weather Service for a briefing on what’s in store from storms in the next week or so.

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