Rainy fall could lead to heavy spring floods

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(Host) The latest rains in Vermont have fallen on ground that’s already saturated, especially in the Champlain Valley.

UVM civil engineering and hydrology professor Cully Hessian checked the stream levels Friday morning from Otter Creek north to the border.

(Hessian) “The streams have gone up two to four feet just from the rain we had yesterday, which was only about an inch if I’m not mistaken. Which isn’t that much rain, but because everything’s saturated, it just all goes. And so all that water gets in the streams, bringing pollutants, sediment, phosphorous, nitrogen with it, extra water in the lake actually has extra pollutants in it as well.”

(Host) Hession says a wet autumn followed by a significant winter snow pack could produce serious flooding in the spring. He also says there’s a direct relationship between high water and the intensity of algae blooms in Lake Champlain.

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