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FEMA Announces Monitoring Of Winooski River Ice Jam


Boston, MA - Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is actively monitoring the ongoing situation in Montpelier, VT regarding the Winooski River ice jam. FEMA officials, including members of its Emergency Response Team, met with state emergency managers this week in Waterbury to be briefed on the current situation.

“FEMA has been working closely with the state since the ice jam occurred,” said Arthur W. Cleaves, FEMA Regional Director. “We are very concerned about the flood potential that exists and are aware of how devastating and quick a flood event can happen. Just in the past week we have done a flyover of the Winooski River to get a good view of towns above and below the ice jam to better understand what the state may be facing in the event of a worst case scenario.”

FEMA is using the Geographic Information System and remote sensing to identify those areas that are at greatest risk of flooding along the river and sharing that information with state and local officials. These systems can look at the 100 and 500 year flood plain along the river and project out where the most damaging flooding could take place.

“By better understanding the potential magnitude of what might happen, we can better position ourselves to assist local and state emergency managers if that is needed,” said Cleaves. “But what residents and businesses also need to understand is that now is the time for them to start making their own plans in the event that flooding occurs.”

FEMA encourages citizens in the potentially impacted area to take this opportunity to prepare themselves and their families for a flooding event. Some important planning items to consider include:

Making an evacuation plan and pre-identifying where you might go
Preparing a disaster kit that your family can take with them in the event you have to be away from home for a short amount of time
Making a family communication plan in the event family members get separated
Making preparations on where to place pets in the event of an evacuation
Check your flood insurance policy to know what coverage you have and if you don’t have a flood insurance policy than consider purchasing one. A flood insurance policy takes 30 days to take effect.
For more information about how to prepare, please visit or contact your local emergency management office.

FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with state and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.


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