Home News and Features Stay off Montpelier Roads, City Urges — Stay Home if You Can,...

Stay off Montpelier Roads, City Urges — Stay Home if You Can, Barre City Says

photo of flood waters in a downtown with brick buildings in background.
Downtown Montpelier as flood waters were still rising on July 10, 2023. Photo by Gene Leon.
Montpelier and Barre are facing flood levels reminiscent of 1992, when downtown Montpelier was completely underwater. Water has breached the Langdon Street Bridge and overflowed onto the street this evening, and State Street and Main Street have knee-deep levels of water. Cars are submerged, and the city wants people to stay home. 

“Montpelier is experiencing major flooding and unsafe road conditions. Avoid travel unless it’s an emergency,” stated an alert from VT-Alert at 6:24 this evening.

A release from the City of Montpelier followed, stating “Montpelier is currently experiencing major flooding throughout the City today, July 10, 2023. Storm drains are unable to keep up with the vast amount of water causing roadways and sidewalks to flood. To ensure everyone’s safety, please avoid traveling in and around Montpelier. Do not try to navigate around road closure barricades as they are in place due to unsafe roadway conditions.”

Perhaps most importantly, the City urges people not to drive through standing or running water if the road is not visible.

“The Winooski River is expected to crest to a height of 19.8 feet by midnight tonight and remain high for several hours. Flooding is expected to be similar to or worse than the flooding Vermont experienced during the storm in May 2011, and Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011,” the release stated.

Barre City has closed several roads and reported on its Facebook page:  “Conditions are quickly deteriorating. First responders are currently engaged in multiple rescues. If you can stay home safely, please do so. We need to preserve resources for people in imminent danger.”

A resident warned “Stay off of Barre City Bikepath. Underneath the path near the South Barre end has caved in,” also on the city’s Facebook page.

People who may need to evacuate should head to the Barre Auditorium at 16 Auditorium Hill where an Emergency Center has been set up, and the sooner the better as flood levels are expected to rise through the night. 

As of 8:30 p.m. Route 2 to Merchant Street is currently the only access to the Barre Auditorium due to severe flooding in Barre City, according to Evelyn Prim, communications coordinator for the City of Montpelier. 

To receive emergency updates specific to your area, please sign up for VT-Alerts at vem.vermont.gov/vtalert 

The City of Montpelier will be updating its website with emergency information at montpelier-vt.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=467