WARREN, Vt. (AP) _ Major flooding hit central Vermont today, with rising waters cutting off roads and houses and trapping people in their homes.

``It is an extremely serious situation,'' said Gov. Howard Dean this morning as he declared a state of emergency in five communities: Warren, Lincoln, Bristol, Roxbury and Bradford.

``We have several people isolated in their homes,'' he said. ``We cannot get in, either on the ground or by helicopter.''

Heavy rains continued to fall today and the governor said the emergency declarations could be expanded into other areas.

A number of major roads in the Mad River Valley were closed _ some of them under several feet of water. Among them was Route 100, a major north south artery.

Emergency personnel evacuated people from their homes overnight in the Warren and Lincoln areas.

Ben & Jerry's canceled its annual shareholder meeting and its huge One World-One Heart Festival, both scheduled today at Sugarbush.