Nearly a dozen towns throughout New England were flooded from Monday as the remains of Hurricane Irene swept through upstate New York and Vermont, creating massive torrents out of rivers and mud bogs throughout the streets. The storm created some of the worst flooding these communities have seen in a century.
Eleven inches of rain was dumped on parts of Vermont and 13 on some parts of New York, quickly overwhelming sewers, waterways and drainage systems. Waters began to rise so quickly in Vermont that officials feared theyâ€™d have to flood Montpelier, the state capital, to relieve the pressure on a dam.
According to Governor Peter Shumlin, â€œwe prepared for the worst and we got the worst in central and southern Vermont. Itâ€™s just devastating – whole communities under water. Weâ€™re tough folks here in Vermont, but Irene really hit us hard.â€
Upstate New York hasn’t escaped damage either, with buildings of more than 100 years old carried away by the flood. Cars, trucks and trees went a tumblinâ€™ down the flooded highways, too.
The storm caused at least 6 deaths in New York and 3 in Vermont, with one reported missing.
Video footage (below) shows a 141-year-old covered bridge in Rockingham, Vermont get swept away by the swollen Williams River.
More than 50,000 people were without power, and many of the communities were still unreachable by the Agency of Transportation on Tuesday. Volunteers are working diligently at the Waterbury Area Food Shelf to protect food and toiletries and eventually offer them to those who have suffered extreme damage.
If you are on the East Coast, has your community felt the impact of Hurricane Irene, or did you escape with minimal damage?
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Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center