Washington County’s July flood impacted much of the Winooski River Watershed (This watershed begins in the town of Cabot and flows 90 miles to Lake Champlain in Colchester.) The watershed drains approximately 1,080 square miles in central Vermont, encompassing all of Washington County, along with other Vermont counties and is the largest tributary watershed to Lake Champlain. It includes almost 10% of the land area of Vermont. In addition, the river has seven major tributaries, most of them, North Branch, Dog River, Stevens Branch, Little River and Mad River are located in Washington county (source from Friends of the Winooski River)
Montpelier’s devastating flood came from several of these tributaries, as well as the main branch of the Winooski river. It mobilized the Montpelier community to act and be more prepared for future events. To get started, the City held three public forums over the summer and fall to gather information from residents and businesses. As part of this effort, the Montpelier Commission for Recovery and Resilience (MCRR) was formed to guide these efforts. Forum participants set the priorities and direction for the Commission’s work and the MCRR is accountable to the entire community of Montpelier to galvanize action for flood recovery and resilience.
The Commission provides leadership to coordinate recovery and resilience strategies, advocates for the community, oversees future staff, and supports the progress of initiatives throughout the community. Its work focuses on four areas: watershed, adaptive downtown emergency response planning and flood recovery.
However, the Commission isn’t working from scratch, much work and research has come before the four focal areas that informs their work.
A fourth forum will begin with an introduction from Commission members, followed by breakout sessions that will allow community members a chance to learn more, and to voice their thoughts, on the priorities and actions that fall within each of these topic areas.
Be part of these efforts and be heard! The Commission is hosting a public forum on February 15, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at Montpelier High School. The Commission will both report on its work to date and invite participants to weigh in on its priorities and future activities.
More information about the MCRR can be found at: https://www.montpelierstrong.org
Montpelier Strong is a collaboration between Montpelier Alive and Montpelier Foundation.