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Johnson Is Removing Ice Jams From The Lamoille River With Heavy Equipment

Johnson Select Board Members Doug Molde (left) and Nat Kinney look at a map of the Lamoille River in Johnson. The board voted to hire heavy equipment to clear ice jams out of the river to prevent what they believe to be imminent flooding in the village.
Amy Kolb Noyes
/
VPR
Johnson Select Board Members Doug Molde (left) and Nat Kinney look at a map of the Lamoille River in Johnson. The board voted to hire heavy equipment to clear ice jams out of the river to prevent what they believe to be imminent flooding in the village.

With warmer weather and rain in the forecast early next week, the Johnson Select Board has decided to take proactive measures to prevent flooding.

On Friday,  the board voted to expend over $20,000 from its emergency fund to hire specialized excavators to remove jammed ice from the Lamoille River. The board plans to apply for federal reimbursement funds to cover up to 70 percent of the cost.

Before the unanimous vote, Selectman Doug Molde said the risk of not acting is high.

"I think what’s clear is that we have a, almost a relative certainty of flooding in the village, if we don’t do something," said Molde.

At the request of the town, John Predom flew a drone over the Lamoille River in Johnson to get an aerial view of the ice jam.

Ice jams in the Lamoille River caused flooding in downtown Johnson last month, and that ice is still clogging up the river. The town has been working with Vermont Emergency Management, the National Weather Service and the Agency of Natural Resources to address the situation.

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