Driftwood and debris washed up at the River St. park in Milton on Wednesday morning during a brief flood. (Photo by Courtney Lamdin)

Driftwood and debris washed up at the River St. park in Milton on Wednesday morning during a brief flood. (Photo by Courtney Lamdin)

Flood season has begun.

In Milton on Wednesday morning, cars splashed through nearly a foot of overflowing water from the Lamoille River, which jumped its banks and flooded the park on River Street.

Green Mountain Power spokeswoman Dottie Schnure said the utility did its best to regulate Lake Arrowhead upstream at the dam. The river peaked overnight on Tuesday and was rushing through at more than 22,200 cubic feet per second. The resulting flow was close to a 100-year flood event, though, Schnure says, those aren’t so rare nowadays.

GMP has about 2 feet of leeway to make adjustments to the lake level; the dam isn’t engineered to fully stop flooding, Schnure said.

“There’s still a lot of water out there, and we can’t prevent that,” she said.

The Lamoille River's waters were raging at the mouth of the Arrowhead dam. (Photo by Courtney Lamdin)

The Lamoille River’s waters were raging at the mouth of the Arrowhead dam. (Photo by Courtney Lamdin)

Luckily, the snowy precipitation stopped, and the waters receded before the day’s end. Much of the state saw flooding, closing numerous roads (updates are listed here: http://vtransmaps.vermont.gov/VTrans511/511listing.asp), Gov. Peter Shumlin’s office said Wednesday.

State and local emergency personnel said flooding along Lake Champlain will be minor to moderate; Vermont Emergency Management expects the lake to reach flood stage on Thursday, a press release said.

Property owners are encouraged to prepare for possible high water to mitigate damages to homes and other property. Some tips:

  • Move objects like lawn or beach furniture, children’s toys and other buoyant objects to higher ground.
  • Anchor fuel tanks – particularly if your home is close to the lake and likely to be flooded.
  • If your home is flooded, and you need to evacuate, turn off the electricity in your home, and have a professional inspect the electrical system before you return.
  • Never walk through floodwaters, and never drive across a flooded road as currents can be strong and roads could be washed out under the water.

Keep up with flood updates by subscribing to VT Alert at http://vtalert.gov; and click on the link at left.