Home News and Features M&T Bank Floodgates Performed As Designed, Though Some Water Got In

M&T Bank Floodgates Performed As Designed, Though Some Water Got In

Metal frame designed to hold flood gates at M&T bank front door. Photo by Phil Dodd.
M&T Bank’s property manager put steel floodgates in place at about 5 p.m. on July 10 at the bank’s 112 State Street, Montpelier site, preventing the building from being fully flooded and allowing it to open two weeks later, on July 24, according to M&T Bank branch manager Morgan Pratt. 

“The gates worked as expected,” Pratt said.

The floodwater level — the highest since the 1927 flood — topped out four to six inches below the top of the gates, but water did enter the building through the drive-in teller’s drawer and from a toilet backing up, Pratt said. The bank ended up with three inches or so of water on the floor, requiring it to replace some carpet, furniture, baseboard, and sheetrock, she said.

Pratt said the bank building was originally built by the Chittenden Bank in 1995 with the 1992 ice-jam flood in mind. The building has no basement and has metal frames to hold the flood gates at the front and back doors.

The gates weigh about 300 to 400 pounds and it takes four people to install them, Pratt said. They have rubber seals that are filled with compressed air to create a tight seal against the building.

Unfortunately, the bank experienced a second flood event in August when the city turned water to the building back on. The city system’s high pressure blew out water pipes in a utility room on the second floor, sending water onto the mezzanine level. Pratt said that luckily the pipes burst while staff members were in the building, and with some help they were able to close a gasket to stop the flooding.

Last winter, on one of the coldest days of the year, some pipes on the fifth floor of the building froze and burst, causing flooding damage to a portion of the building and making for three flood events in a year, Pratt said. M&T Bank took over the property from the People’s Bank last September.