How has flooding affected
the region?

Flooding is not a new problem in the Lake Champlain watershed, but it is happening more often and more severely. The 2011 floods, with over 60 days of record-setting lake levels in the spring, followed just two months later by record flash floods from Tropical Storm Irene, left a lasting impact on both the people and ecosystems around Lake Champlain.

kayak in flooded street

More intense rain storms will result in more runoff from impervious surfaces in urban areas. Photo: LCBP

Above-average snowpack coupled with heavy spring rains in 2011 led to the most severe flooding ever recorded on Lake Champlain. The Lake reached an all-time high of 103.27 feet above mean sea level in May of 2011, and remained well above the 100-foot flood stage into June of that year. The flooding damaged or destroyed more than 3,500 homes and caused $88 million in damages in Vermont, New York, and Québec. One of the hardest hit areas was along the Richelieu River, where many residents were evacuated for several weeks.

In August of 2011, Tropical Storm Irene swept through the region causing four deaths in the Lake Champlain Basin, heavy tributary flooding, and widespread infrastructure, property, and agricultural damages.

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