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Stamford Ice Dam Threatened Homes

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff
10:41PM / Thursday, January 31, 2013
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An ice dam at the corner of Routes 8 and 100 flooded basement and forced a partial closure of the road.

STAMFORD, Vt. — Firefighters and town officials were dealing with an ice dam on Thursday morning at the intersection of Routes 8 and 100 that flooded nearby basements.

Warming temperatures filled a number of local rivers and creeks. The Roaring Brook was not only roaring, but filled with ice at about 6 a.m.

"When we arrived we found an ice jam about 100 yards up stream from the bridge," Fire Chief Paul Ethier explained in an email. "This caused water to be diverted over the north bank and was threatening to flood five homes."

Traffic was reduced to alternating one-way traffic for a short period while the state's Department of Transportation removed large chunks of ice from the roadway. Ethier said the Fire Department installed pumps in two homes to help remove water from their basements.

Select Board member Thomas Houghtaling said at first there was some indication that the state would also clear out the ice dam. But hours later, nothing had been done.

After conferring with board members and residents in the area, the town hired an excavater to chip away at the ice and clear the dam.

"It looked like a big pond on the northwest side of Route 100 there," Houghtaling said. "It was a big mess."

Houghtaling said similar ice jams had happened three times since he'd moved to Stamford six years ago. The town had appealed to the state to allow excavation in the brook to prevent the dams from occurring but was turned down.

"Unfortunately, it costs the taxpayers money every time they do this," he said.

Houghtaling thanked those homeowners who weren't flooded but who allowed the excavator into their back yards to help their neighbors.

"I feel sorry for the people who have to suffer the water in their basements this time of year," he said. "I really appreciate all the people who let us go through their yards. ... Everybody worked together to get it done."

Tags: firefighter,   flooding,   ice dam,   weather conditions,   

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