(Host) Officials in Burlington are urging residents to take extraordinary precautions as Lake Champlain waters reached record levels.
Mayor Bob Kiss says Burlington is battling extensive flooding both along the Winooski River and the lakeshore. Flooding has been a problem since last week and Kiss says it’s not going away any time soon.
Kiss says the lake has never been this high. So he’s warning residents to stay away from the waterfront. He also says homeowners should check their electrical and heating systems, and keep close records of any property damage.
(Kiss) "We’re meeting challenges that we haven’t faced in recent history in the City of Burlington and across the state of Vermont in general. So our response is in some respect routine and in other respects not at all."
(Host) So far, Kiss says, the rising waters have affected at least 50 Burlington households near the North Cove area and the mouth of the Winooski River. And 13 families in Burlington have been displaced.
Kiss says other residents living near high waters should prepare for an evacuation. He says the city’s engineers are concerned about wind and waves.
(Kiss) "That adds another dimension to potential damage and so we’re watching that carefully. We just can’t necessarily shape it because, as we all know, that’s just the power of nature."
Burlington Fire Chief Seth Lasker says his department is working closely with families whose homes are affected by the high water.
(Lasker) "We’ve given out about 9,000 sand bags to residents. We have several more thousand on hand and we’re expecting 10,000 more on Friday."
(Host) Burlington is on a growing list of Vermont cities and towns preparing to file for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA officials are expected to be in Vermont this weekend to assess damage in Burlington and across the state.
- Burlington residents can call 802-863-9094 to report damage or if they need sand and sandbags.
- Displaced residents can contact the local Red Cross at 802-660-9130.