RUTLAND & MIDDLEBURY- Warm temperatures and heavy rain have raised concerns in most corners of Vermont over the potential for flooding in the coming days.
The National Weather Service predicted one-half inch to up to 2-inches of rain to fall in areas of Vermont last weekend.
Flash flooding is likely to occur in low lying areas.
The National Weather Service says the Otter Creek in Center Rutland; Mad River in Moretown; and Hoosic River in North Bennington are likely to reach flood stage.
Flooding will most likely not be limited to those areas, and Vermont Emergency Management urges all to stay away from floodwaters or leave an area for higher ground if water is approaching your location.
Never drive across a flooded road as unseen washouts or a strong current could drag your car away.
More severe flooding could occur if a river becomes jammed with ice.
A number of communities have reported ice jams to VEM and the National Weather Service, and more are expected over the coming days.
An ice dam under the U.S. Route 7 bridge at Three-Mile Bridge Road in Middlebury has already diverted the Middlebury River onto farm fields and are endangering the road.
Local officials in Wilmington, Brattleboro, and Montpelier, among others, have been watching rivers in their communities and wherever possible have begun mitigation steps. Some private home and business owners have also started to sandbag their properties as a precaution.
All community leaders are advised to keep an eye on rivers and contact Vermont Emergency Management if assistance is needed to mitigate, monitor, or respond to rising waters.
Municipalities are also urged to contact neighboring communities to share information on actual and potential problems, or to coordinate a shared response.
Vermont Emergency Management and its state and federal partners are standing by to assist any towns that may need assistance. Towns can call 800-347-0488 to report any problems or request appropriate assistance 24-hours a day.