OF 1947. On the night of June 3, 1947, neighborhoods along
the East Creek fell victim to the most physically damaging flood
in the city's history. After days of heavy rain Central Vermont
Public Service's (CVPS) dam on the Chittenden Reservoir malfunctioned
and sent large amounts of water downstream into the East Pittsford
dam. The deluge washed out the East Pittsford dam which released
a cascade of water down the East Creek eventually submerging at
least twenty streets on the city's west side within two hours. More
than 300 dwellings and a number of businesses suffered damage with
Water, Cleveland and Baxter streets bearing the worst. Highways,
bridges, and the city's waterworks were also damaged or washed away
by the flood waters. CVPS's Cleveland Ave. facilities suffered a
fatal blow which cut off much of the power and gas to the city for
days after the flood.
emergency services, notified of the impending surge by CVPS, responded
quickly. While homes and businesses were ruined, there was no loss
state and local assistance came to the aid of the victims in many
forms. The Federal Disaster Loan Corporation provided reconstruction
aid while the U.S. Army sent elements of the First Army troops to
purify water and provide evacuation assistance. The 172 nd Infantry
of the Vermont National Guard provided security and safety to the
community. The Red Cross provided emergency shelter and numerous
Rutland businesses donated goods and/or released their employees
to assist in the clean-up and recovery.
the aftermath, CVPS paid nearly $2.5 million for replacement and
reconstruction costs, repair work on electric facilities, settlement
of flood claims, and legal costs. While the disaster wrecked havoc,
it showed that Rutlanders could work together, help each other in
times of need and survive a major crisis. The Flood of 1947 ultimately
left an indelible impression on the city and its people.
Vermont Public Service Collection, Rutland Historical Society.
Utilities in Vermont : A Narrative History of Central Vermont
Public Service Corporation and its Predecessor Companies .
Central Vermont Public Service Corporation, 1979.
Flood at Rutland Vermont June 1947, A Story in Headlines, Text
and Pictures . Rutland Herald, no date.
of 1947 Collection, Rutland Historical Society.