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Flooding Swamps Vermont, Maine, Upstate New York, Michigan and Eastern Canada

By Jon Erdman
Published: April 19, 2014
  

A combination of melting snow, ice jams and recent heavy rain sent rivers swelling this week in parts of northern New England, Lower Michigan and eastern Canada.

(FORECASTS: Latest Flood Warnings | Rain/Snow Forecast)

Canada Flooding

Flooding swamps the town of Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada in mid-April 2014. (Elfreda Elliott Stacey)

Hardest hit were parts of eastern Canada, where record flood levels on the Saint-Francois River left the city of Sherbrooke, Quebec split in half. Over 600 residents there were urged to evacuate, according to a story in the London (Ont.) Free Press.

Another 300 people were forced from their homes in Saint-Raymond near Quebec City, where the swelling Saint-Anne River flooded the city's downtown. Just two years ago, this same area flooded twice, according to a story in The Globe and Mail.

Near Canada's Atlantic coast, dozens of homes were flooded in the town of Sussex, New Brunswick.

In most of northern New England and Lower Michigan, rivers were either cresting or were falling as of Thursday morning. Here are some state-by-state highlights.

April 2014 Northeast Snowmelt

Animation of snow depth from April 1 through April 15, 2014 in Upstate N.Y., New England and southeast Canada. (NOAA/NOHRSC)

Upstate New York

In Watertown, N.Y., the Black River had reached its highest level in 16 years early Thursday, teetering near the 14-foot major flood stage which would lead to more extensive damage to some residences and commercial buildings in the city. 

(FORECAST: Black River at Watertown)

The Schroon River north of Warrensburg, N.Y., crested early Thursday about 3/4 foot above a level that historically has sent one to two feet of water into nearby homes and vacation properties, according to the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y.

A hydroelectric dam in St. Regis Falls was damaged by large chunks of ice and the force of the high water, according to North Country Public Radio. While the dam did not fail, the extent of the damage was not immediately clear.

A state of emergency was declared in nearby St. Lawrence County. Several roads remained closed due to high water, as of Thursday morning. An electric substation was flooded in the county Tuesday, but affected customers were switched to receive power from another substation.  

Vermont flooded truck

A truck is submerged after attempting to drive through a flooded Longley Bridge Road in Montgomery, Vt. on Apr. 15, 2014. (Vermont State Police)

Vermont

Lake Champlain at Burlington inched above flood stage Wednesday night and is likely to creep higher in the coming days, as more runoff from swollen rivers and meltwater from snow drains into the lake.

(ALERT: Lake Champlain NWS Flood Warning)

At the current lake level, some lakefront properties, low-lying roads, piers and docks may begin to flood, according to the National Weather Service in Burlington. In May 2011, Lake Champlain topped out roughly three feet higher than its current level. Any strong wind event over the next few weeks may worsen flooding by piling water into the lakeshore.

Elsewhere, river levels were generally falling in other locations, including the Winooski, Lamoille and Barton Rivers.

Flooding forced the closure of the Wrong Way Bridge near Cambridge, Vt., Tuesday night. Vermont State Police rescued a woman whose vehicle was trapped by floodwaters in Franklin County. 

(MORE: WeatherReady Flood Safety)

Maine

The Kennebec River crested at just under 5.5 feet above flood stage Wednesday in Augusta, flooding parks, parking lots and some basements, but not leading to any major damage, according to the Kennebec Journal

A washed-out street in the town of Dexter left the Dexter Historical Society's Grist Mill Museum dangling over the Sebasticook River East Branch. 

In Orono, water had crept into homes along the Stillwater River, according to the National Weather Service in Gray. Water had also flooded a University of Maine parking lot.

The combination of rain and warmer temperatures melted 28 inches of snow in 11 days in Caribou, Maine, from April 5 to 16. Nine inches of snow melted in a 24-hour period from Tuesday morning through Wednesday morning. 

Michigan

The Muskegon River crested almost a foot above the previous record level from March 1989 at Evart, Mich. Numerous roads remained flooded and closed in Osceola County, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Tuesday, the Wraco Lodge Dam along Wolf Creek just south of Houghton Lake failed. 

(MORE: Giant Ice Slabs Invade Great Lakes Shorelines)

MORE: Deep South Flooding early April 2014

Yazoo City, Miss.

Yazoo City, Miss.

Buddy, the scent dog for the Mississippi Fire Marshal's Office is offered a sniff of a particle of clothing belonging to a 9-year-old girl who authorities say is believed to have been swept away by flash flood waters. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

  • Yazoo City, Miss.
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  • Pelham, Ala.
  • Oak Mountain, Ala.
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  • Pelham, Ala.
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  • Atlanta
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  • Smyrna, Ga.
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  • Bentonia, Miss.
  • Radar
  • Augusta, Ga.
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