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IRENE cleanup begins as Vermont reels from ‘EPIC’ FLOODING – latimes.com

August 29, 2011

Irene cleanup begins as Vermont reels from ‘epic’ flooding

August 29, 2011 |  8:29 am

President Obama signed a declaration of emergency Monday for Vermont, hard hit during the night by severe and “epic” flooding caused by the last gasps of Tropical Storm Irene. Cleanup and damage assessment is underway up and down the East Coast with some estimates putting a $7-billion price tag on this storm.

The worst-case scenarios never came to pass as Hurricane Irene barrelled toward the U.S., making landfall in North Carolina and losing strength as it made its way up the East Coast. But that has been little solace to the Northeastern states. More than 22 deaths were attributed to the storm, a number that could rise as the soggy cleanup continues. Millions remain without power and stranded or displaced by floodwaters.

It will take days, perhaps more than a week to restore power to all customers.

Here’s a look at where the damage stands, but it will surely change as authorities begin assembling reports:

–Vermont, already experiencing an unusually wet year, suffered widespread flooding after Irene dumped six inches of rain on the area. The fear of falling trees and downed power lines remained a concern. One person was reported killed in the storm. Hundreds of roads are flooded and closed throughout the state. Many streams and river tributaries were flooding Monday morning. Even the state’s emergency management department offices were evacuated and the department’s email system is down.

The flooding was so bad that rescue teams were unable to reach stranded residents in towns along the Winooski River, including the capital, Montpelier. President Obama’s emergency declaration for the area will speed much-needed federal funds and other resources to aid cleanup.

via Irene cleanup begins as Vermont reels from ‘epic’ flooding – latimes.com.

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