Flooding From Winter Storm Hunter's Rainy Side Forces Vermont Residents From Homes; 1 Dead in West Virginia

Sean Breslin and Pam Wright
Published: January 13, 2018

Residents in the Vermont town of Swanton were forced from their homes overnight by flooding from Winter Storm Hunter.

The Associated Press reports the American Red Cross opened an evacuation shelter for flood victims in the area. 

The National Weather Service reported evacuations in progress Saturday morning in Johnson, Vermont. 

On Friday, the body of a woman was found in a car that reportedly sunk in flooding triggered by Winter Storm Hunter, West Virginia authorities say.

According to TheNewsCenter-TV, the vehicle apparently was traveling on a road in the Ohio River Valley when it went through high water and was swept into a nearby creek. Authorities are searching for anyone else who might have been in the vehicle. 

Several water rescues were reported by the National Weather Service Friday evening in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. 

Earlier in the day, other water rescues were reported in parts of western Pennsylvania, the NWS reported. The flooding also cut off homes in the town of Sewickley as rivers and creeks rose, and to the north, some vehicles became stranded on submerged roads, the Associated Press reported.

"The flooding is the result of moderate to locally heavy rainfall combined with melting snow and frozen ground, which has caused many rivers and streams to rise," said weather.com meteorologist Linda Lam. "In addition, several ice jams have developed, leading to flooding in some locations."

(MORE: Where Additional Flooding Could Occur)

The flooding in Allegheny County forced officials to close several roads, and multiple school districts delayed or canceled classes Friday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Crews pumped water out of flooded homes in Pittsburgh Friday morning – something they don't usually have to do in the winter months.

"Definitely not used to it in January," Chief Jim Barbour of the Option Independent Fire Company told WTAE.com. "More along the lines of springtime. It throws a little wrench into the planning but at least it's not too cold out."

(MORE: Get the Latest Forecast for Winter Storm Hunter)

About 10,000 homes and businesses lost power in Pennsylvania Friday morning, and most outages were reported in western parts of the state.

To the south, flooding was also reported in parts of West Virginia overnight.

Western New York Swamped

Areas accustomed to getting heavy snow this time of year received heavy rain instead, which melted snow and caused flooding issues in locales like South Buffalo. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told local media that upwards of 100 homes reported flooding in South Buffalo.

In addition to reports of flooded homes, sewage treatment plants in the Buffalo area were also overwhelmed, forcing some to discharge untreated sewage into nearby waterways, the Buffalo News reported.

South Buffalo resident Ian Murphy said the area is used to wintry precipitation in January, but flooding in the colder months is bizarre.

"I certainly wouldn't have expected it in January," he told the Buffalo News.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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