Rivers flooded homes and parts of Vermont forced evacuations from devastating floods this summer, and hundreds of thousands of people across New England were without power Tuesday after a powerful coastal storm.
More than three inches of rain fell in some Vermont communities, combining with snowmelt to send rivers and streams over their banks and into streets and basements. Gov. Bill Scott said the flooding appeared to be less than what the state experienced in July, but could still be widespread.
“It was a real gut punch,” Mr. Scott said at a news conference late Monday that some communities that flooded in July were flooded again.
The storm that swept the East Coast on Sunday and Monday flooded streets and closed schools from South Carolina to northern Maine before crossing into eastern Canada.
Strong winds toppled trees onto homes and power lines, killing at least one person in Massachusetts and two in Maine, according to officials and local news reports. Three people were killed in flooded vehicles in New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
More than 500,000 customers were without power across New England as of Tuesday afternoon, mainly in Maine and Massachusetts. According to PowerOutage.us, which monitors the utility sector. Officials warned that restoration in some communities could take days.
National Grid, an electricity provider in Massachusetts, said on social media that about 2,000 workers were clearing trees and repairing electrical infrastructure. Central Maine Power said on Facebook that it expects a multi-day effort to restore power.
The storm also caused damage in Canada, where nearly 125,000 homes in four provinces were without power as of Tuesday afternoon.
Heavy rains and flooding could be a preview of what is yet to come. Government forecasters expect higher-than-usual precipitation in the eastern U.S. from December to February, when warmer temperatures tend to fall as rain rather than snow. Rising global temperatures from climate change are creating shorter, more intense storms, which can increase flooding.
In Vermont, several dozen residents of Moretown, west of the state capital of Montpelier, were told to evacuate their homes Monday afternoon as the Mad River flooded, local officials said.
Jennifer Morrison, the state’s commissioner of public safety, said at a news conference with the governor, including three people from a home in Jamaica and one from a vehicle in Waterbury that was swept away by floodwaters. .
While officials expect some damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure from the flooding, “they don’t expect it to be the magnitude of July,” Governor Scott said.
Dozens of schools were closed across the state on Tuesday, as were many ski resorts. In Barre, aid workers set up an emergency shelter for people displaced by the floods. The summer evacuees were sheltered in the same building.
Reporting contributed Mia Coleman, Delgar Erdanesana, Judson Jones And Jenna Russell.