Floodwaters trap pickup

Woman driver OK; roads still closed

Guest Authors

By Guest Authors

Messenger Contributor

Just
The Facts

Owned by

MONTGOMERY — Rain pounded down on Franklin County Tuesday afternoon, causing rivers to jump their banks and waters to flood roads and basements.

In a scary incident, a pickup truck became trapped in high water here. The occupied truck was found stuck in raging waters on Longley Bridge Road in Montgomery Tuesday at around 5:30 p.m. The female driver, police had not identified her as of press time today, was rescued.

Police and rescue crews had difficulty reaching the woman because of flooded roads and back roads that were too muddy to be easily passable, according to Vermont State Police. At one point, two rescue vehicles became stuck in the mud on Longley Bridge Road.

Cpl. Brendan McKenney, of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, was the first law enforcement officer to arrive. The truck was trapped in rising flood waters with the driver trapped inside.

According to police, McKenney and a nearby resident Stanley Longley feared the truck and driver would be washed away by rising floodwaters.

Longley retrieved a large tractor from his residence and drove it to the edge of the water. With McKenney riding on the tractor, Longley backed slowly into the water toward the truck. When they reached it, McKenney broke a window and pulled the driver from the truck.

With the assistance of Dean Scott of Enosburg Rescue, they were able to get the driver onto the tractor.

Longley then drove them all to shore, said police.

Vermont State Police urge drivers not to attempt to cross flooded roadways and to follow all detours.

Flooded areas

The National Weather Service on Tuesday issued a flood warning for most counties in Vermont, and according to the Department of Public Safety, Lake Champlain is expected to reach flood stage by tomorrow.

Sections of Route 105 between Sheldon and Richford continue to be closed today, and the Department of Public Safety was asking Vermont residents to never try to cross a flooded roadway.

Those detours were doubling the length of the commute between Richford and St. Albans, motorists report.

Motorists who typically drive Route 105 were diverted into Franklin and Berkshire.

Route 105 was reduced to one lane between Sheldon and Richford at press time as flood waters began to recede. It remained closed in Sheldon between Routes 236 and 120.

Other road closures in the county include:

• Route 118 in Berkshire near the intersection with Route 105;

• Smith Flats Road in Enosburg;

• Route 118 by Woodward Neighborhood Road in Richford;

• sections of Vermont Route 2 in Sheldon.

Three to five inches of snow, depending on elevation, fell Tuesday in the St. Albans area with higher amounts in hill areas in surrounding towns. Temperatures began in the teens this morning and were to rise into the 30s today with overnight lows in the 15- to 17-degree range. More precipitation isn’t anticipated in the area until Saturday, but is then forecast into next Tuesday.