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Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman on Vermont's historic flooding

Zuckerman says flooding in Vermont has called back memories of Tropical Storm Irene — which may have helped residents know what to expect.
Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman on Vermont's historic flooding
Posted at 5:58 PM, Jul 12, 2023

Vermont's Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman spoke with Scripps News on Wednesday about the floods and rainfall that have plagued the state all week.

As the rains have slackened, so too has the need for urgent rescues. Zuckerman said there had been no deaths, injuries or reports of missing people so far. 

Zuckerman said Vermont's history with Tropical Storm Irene put the state in a good position to understand the risk that the rain presented. He says government warnings and the transportation department's closures of roads helped keep the population out of trouble.

The state isn't done with the rain yet, though — more is in the forecast, and Zuckerman says that could cause more flooding.

SEE MORE: Cleanup efforts underway as waters recede, revealing Vermont's damage

"The ground is incredibly saturated. We've had weeks of rain leading up to this much stronger event, which really unfortunately set up for this catastrophe, because the soil is just soaked all over the state," Zuckerman said. "If we get an inch or two in heavy downpour, some of those small rivers could well rise up again."

"We've had two 100- or even 500-year events in 11 or 12 years. I think there's no doubt that climate change is happening. It's happening much more aggressively than people expected, whether it's the heat in the South, the fires up in Quebec with the drought," Zuckerman said. 

"I've been a policymaker for 18 years before I became Lieutenant Governor, and was advocating for much more aggressive policies, and I think we are now seeing what we've sowed, which was not enough action to reduce our carbon footprint on this planet," he said. "I'm quite concerned that we will see more, not less, all across the country and around the world."

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