August 31st, 2011

Irene: gone, but not forgotten

Hurricane Irene may be gone, but its aftermath isn’t. And although the effects were nowhere near as bad as originally predicted, for some communities they are still very bad indeed.

Rivers are still rising in New Jersey. And landlocked Vermont—of all places—has quite a few communities which are not only still powerless but are cut off from supplies by floodwaters that washed out roads:

In Vermont, officials focused on providing basic necessities to residents who in many cases still have no power, no telephone service and no way to get in or out of their towns.

On Tuesday night, 11 towns — Cavendish, Granville, Hancock, Killington, Mendon, Marlboro, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Stockbridge, Strafford and Wardsboro — were cut off from the outside.

One doesn’t ordinarily think of mountainous, inland Vermont as subject to hurricane damage. And usually it isn’t; the damage is much more inclined to be coastal. But this is hardly the only time that little Vermont has been hard hit by a hurricane or similar storm, although Irene represents the worst flooding to have hit the state in 84 years. That would make the previous highwater (literally) mark in Vermont the inundation of 1927:

1927 November – A tropical storm spawned torrential rains as it rose over the Green Mountain in Vermont, Nov. 3-4. The record flooding caused $40 million in damage and killed 84 people in Vermont and 1 in Rhode Island. The storm ended as snow in the mountains.

Note that 1927 death toll in Vermont: 84. A reminder that in the olden days of 1927, forecasts were poor or non-existent. Nowadays they may not be exact, but they’re awfully good nonetheless, and it’s awfully good to have them.

2 Responses to “Irene: gone, but not forgotten”

  1. DirtyJobsGuy Says:

    If the cut off towns are not second home meccas the locals will do just fine until some kind of dirt road is restored. If there are flatlander mini-mansions the terrible plight will be too awful to bear.

    There might be a few older folks that need medicines, but some country boys on dirt bikes could get somewhere.

  2. rickl Says:

    As amateur hurricane blogger Brendan Loy said the other day, “So… who had Vermont in the “State Hardest Hit By Irene” pool?”

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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