VERMONT: The capital city of Vermont, Montpelier, is facing a severe flooding crisis as heavy rains have caused the Winooski River to overflow its banks and inundate the downtown area.

The situation is worsened by the fact that the Wrightsville Dam, which regulates the river flow, is nearing its maximum capacity and could fail at any moment.

According to the National Weather Service, Montpelier received more than 10 inches of rain in the past 24 hours, which is more than the average monthly rainfall for July. The river level rose to 23 feet, which is 11 feet above the flood stage and the highest since records began in 1892.

The city authorities have issued a mandatory evacuation order for all residents and businesses in the low-lying areas, as well as closed several roads and bridges. The Vermont State House, which is located near the river, has also been evacuated and secured. Governor Phil Scott has declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard to assist with the rescue and relief efforts.

The Wrightsville Dam, which was built in 1935 and has a capacity of 1.7 billion gallons, is currently holding back a massive amount of water that could unleash a devastating flood wave if it breaches. The dam operators have been releasing water gradually to reduce the pressure, but they are also monitoring the structural integrity of the dam closely. The dam is rated as high hazard, meaning that its failure would result in probable loss of life and property.

The flooding in Montpelier is part of a larger weather system that has brought heavy rains and flash floods to several states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings and watches for parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. The storm is expected to move eastward and weaken by Thursday.

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