While Hurricane Irene lashed numerous states along its path over the weekend, one state where the after-effects are being felt the hardest is Vermont. There has been some remarkable footage coming out of the Green Mountain state which has shown massive flooding, rivers over-flowing, roadways completely washed away and thousand of people left stranded.
The Mad River Valley has received the worst damage from Irene in central Vermont as the storm thrashed the area on Sunday. The tropical storm is responsible for wrecking hundreds of homes, businesses, schools and city offices in Moretown, Waterbury, Waitsfield and Warren. Many people have reported that there homes were filled with five feet of water in this area of Vermont as a result of the rains and massive water run-offs. The entire valley has been devastated. There was an eighteen foot high wall of water in some portions of the valley on Sunday night. Now the goal of emergency crews is to at least create some paths for emergency vehicles to use so that they can begin to get to work repairing the horrific damage which has been done to utility poles, roadways and bridges.
Vermont experienced the worst flooding the state has seen in 100 years as Irene left communities coping with some of the region’s worst flooding it has ever received. On Tuesday, thirty FEMA trucks hauling supplies arrived in Vermont to give aid to the thousands of residents affected by the storm. Food, blankets and other items are being handed out in the communities worst hit. Helicopters are being used to get supplies to those towns and communities that cannot be reached by road. The National Guard is distributing supplies to those communities reachable by land.
Thus far there is no official estimate of what it is going to cost to repair the hundreds of badly damaged roadways and bridges in Vermont. However, the state has been assured by FEMA that the feds are going to contribute 75% of the cost. The final bill will be steep which means that local and state budgets will somehow have to come up with one-forth of the money. Governor Shumlin says that he will find the funding somehow without having to take money from Vermont’s rainy-day fund. The bad news for the many affected home and business owners is that FEMA is saying that it will take several days to obtain accurate estimates to give to President Obama to get the funding flowing into the devastated state.