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The Dartmouth
April 19, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Town and College officials respond to flooding, heavy precipitation across New England

The Town of Hanover did not face significant levels of damage due to the floods, while some neighboring towns did.


On Monday, the water level in the Connecticut River dropped sharply and then increased rapidly, with currents moving faster than normal. Photo Courtesy of Charlie Rudge ’25.

On July 10, heavy precipitation swept across New England, causing catastrophic flooding in towns neighboring Hanover, such as Woodstock and Ludlow, Vermont. According to the National Weather Service, some areas of Vermont received up to 16 inches of rainfall. 

Hanover fire chief Martin McMillan said that Hanover is fortunate in comparison to nearby towns in Vermont. McMillan said that the difference of a couple of miles during a storm can mean a significant difference in levels of damage incurred. 

“We had a small washout in town [and] a couple of roads that took a hit, but compared to our neighbors — compared to what’s going on in Vermont — we were really, really fortunate,” McMillan said. 

However, McMillan added that “the [Connecticut] River was very high.”

McMillan also explained that the Hanover fire department is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on an emergency response plan to the storm. 

“We have a lot of assets and a lot of our personnel in Vermont right now, working with FEMA and a part of the emergency response plan that they have in place,” he said. 

In response to the severe weather, Dartmouth Safety and Security director Keiselim Montás sent a campus wide email on July 10 to alert students about the flooding. 

“Right now, conditions are dynamic and can be deceptive,” Montás wrote. “Always use caution when entering any body of water, particularly after rain, and never attempt to walk, drive or swim through floodwaters.”

In an interview with The Dartmouth on July 11, Montás said it is still best to stay away from the Connecticut River at this time, and he encouraged students to stay informed about the weather. 

Ledyard Canoe Club junior business manager Owen Duncan ’26 said that the storm has not damaged the Ledyard dock, but the clubhouse is flooded with rainwater due to its location at the bottom of a hill.  

“We got a lot of water running through walls and running on the floor,” Duncan said. 

According to Duncan, Ledyard has been closed for two days and will remain closed depending on the levels and speed of the Connecticut River.   

“Don’t go in the water. [Ledyard is] not renting right now,” Duncan stated. “We closed down today, we closed down yesterday — might be closed tomorrow depending on the [Wilder] dam and how low the water is, how fast the currents are moving, but it’s just not super safe right now.”

Vermont Governor Phil Scott said that some areas of Vermont saw worse flooding than they did during tropical storm Irene in 2011. Additionally, over 100 people in Vermont have been rescued. In New York, flood waters swept away a woman, resulting in the storm’s first casualty. 

McMillan said that even though Hanover did not face any casualties, the physical damage the storm has done is still great. 

“This is a very, very significant storm that is going to do millions and millions of dollars of damage,” McMillan said.