Montpelier had to get the sandbags out again on Monday, Dec.18, as pouring rain and melting snow brought the Winooski and the North Branch rivers to flood stage for the second time in five months. This time the rivers crested at about 16 feet (about a foot above flood stage) before much damage was done. Still, it was a repeat nightmare for those who had lived through the July floods, and they felt it.
Sets of standing waves several feet tall roared below the Main Street bridge. The city set up a volunteer coordination tent in front of City Hall underneath the glow of Christmas lights. High school kids helped stack and distribute sandbags. Business owners, employees, and volunteers scrambled to get things out of basements, although there was much less of this than there might have been because, after the last flood, those who could simply left their basements empty. The Aubuchon Hardware store, just open for three days after months spent repairing flood damage and restocking, stayed open later than usual in case people needed flood-fighting supplies.
Meanwhile, there was more damage in Barre, Waitsfield, Moretown, and elsewhere in the state.