Saturday May 25, 2013

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Rain and even snow in high elevations promised to flood roadways and knock out power throughout Vermont as officials warned of potentially dangerous conditions for Memorial Day weekend.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings Saturday for Chittenden, Lamoille, Franklin, Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties and flood watches for most of the rest of the state.

Gov. Peter Shumlin urged Vermonters to pay attention to weather reports and keep an eye on local waterways where flooding was possible.

The governor said Vermont transportation and emergency management agencies were prepared for a weekend response, and the Vermont State Emergency Operations Center will remain open as long as needed.

"I spent part of Friday surveying damage from flash flooding that hit areas of Chittenden County hardest, but now our threat is sustained rainfall that could cause more widespread flooding in others areas of Vermont," Shumlin said in a statement.

Green Mountain Power said more than 4,000 customers were without service Saturday evening. Those numbers were expected to rise.

"Trees are already beginning to topple over with the saturated ground and high winds," said utility spokeswoman Dorothy Schnure. "In addition, wet, heavy snow is falling on trees with leaves, which greatly increases the chances of trees and branches falling on power lines."

A trace to 3 inches of snow could fall in some areas with more in upper elevations.


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Total rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches can be expected, according to the National Weather Service.

Campers and hikers were warned to prepare for winter-like conditions in the mountains this weekend.