In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene heavy flooding inundated Vermont’s central and southern villages and took down infrastructures. The state was unprepared, as it had not seen such floods since the 1900s.
As the tropical storm deluged the landlocked villages in Vermont, hundreds of residents evacuated their homes. The storm turned streets into running streams, destroyed more than a dozen bridges including three historic ones, and killed at least two people. The state hospital in Waterbury was also evacuated. Its staff and 51 patients were placed in facilities in nearby towns. Below, watch a bridge over the Ottauquechee River feel Irene’s wrath.
“It was a raging torrent,” Scott Towle, a resident of Brattleboro, Vt. told the Los Angeles Times about the brook near his house that rose with horrific speed as eight inches of rain fell in six hours on Sunday.
“This is a snow community,” Dick DeGray told the Wall Street Journal at an emergency community meeting in Brattleboro. DeGray, the chairman of the Brattleboro Select Board, also said flooding was normally a coastal issue. Watch flooding in Brattleboro below.
A non-coastal state, Vermont rarely experiences flooding, and its residents are less prepared for it those in by the waters. Thus, Vermonters rarely have flood insurance, and many are calling for federal help.
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Another major concern involves losing tourists during the fall. Route 9, a popular leaf-sighting road, is closed off due to flooding.
Irene left 4.5 million East Coasters from North Carolina to Maine without power, and took 40 lives, according to the Associated Press. Hundreds were stranded and lost electricity because of the flooding, and in communities across the 13 storm-beaten states, much rescue and repair work still remains be done.