The incessant rain is causing scores of problems in northern New York and Vermont - from flash flooding and road wash outs to train delays. With two drownings in the past 72 hours, officials are reiterating their call for caution.
Heavy rain in the last two weeks has caused rivers and streams throughout the region to spill over their banks and flood roads. Flash flooding over two days this week caused damage to the rail bed for the the New England Central Railroad line in the Roxbury, Vermont area. Repairs to the tracks were expected to be completed Friday.
Vermont authorities have been warning against swimming in any high water in the wake of two drownings in the past 72 hours. Officials are concerned about swimmers in areas that could become turbulent and fast-flowing during a heavy rainfall. The Vermont State Department of Public Safety warns that even strong swimmers would have difficulty in the high, roiling waters. Vermont Director of Emergency Management Joe Flynn.
In New York’s Essex County, there have been occurrences of flash flooding and washouts as the saturated soils slough off the waters into the rivers and streams flowing into Lake Champlain. Director of Emergency Services Don Jaquist says the severity of damage depends on where the storms are tracking.
Joe Flynn adds because the soil is so saturated, the entire landscape is vulnerable.
Paul Smith’s College Professor of Natural Sciences Curt Stager says climatologists and meteorologists are trying to figure out if the current wet weather in the Northeast is a cyclical pattern or the result of climate change. But he notes we have seen the wettest half-century in the past five to six hundred years.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is also warning people to be extremely cautious when swimming, telling the Associated Press: "That river you thought you always knew, it's not the same as it was two weeks ago."
The National Weather Service is predicting the current weather pattern of high heat, humidity and heavy rains will continue through much of next week.