Sopping Northeast Grapples With Irene Devastation

Washouts, floods threaten lives across 13 states

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 30, 2011 7:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – With the remnants of Hurricane Irene leaving Canada, Vermont and much of the northeast is still reeling from the storm's devastation, reports the New York Times. Despite facing a much-weakened Irene, the region was hit hard by rains, closing 250 roads and several bridges in southern Vermont alone. “This is a really tough battle for us,” said Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin. “What you see is farms destroyed, crops destroyed, businesses underwater, houses eroded or swept away, and widespread devastation.”

Upstate New York and New Jersey also reported record flooding and many road closures, with an estimated 5 million people still without power around the region. “You have the wash-outs, you have houses coming off foundations because of flash flooding,” said one administrator from New York state. “People last night were saying it looks like a war zone.” Wet ground, already soaked from recent rains, was simply unable to absorb the torrents Irene lashed down. “It is a beautiful day today," said a Vermont retiree. "You wouldn’t think it was so cruel yesterday.”

This Monday Aug. 29, 2011 aerial photo released by the Connecticut Governor's Office shows flood waters in Connecticut after Tropical Storm Irene passed over the state on Sunday.
This Monday Aug. 29, 2011 aerial photo released by the Connecticut Governor's Office shows flood waters in Connecticut after Tropical Storm Irene passed over the state on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Connecticut National Guard, John Whitford)
Water crests from Tropical Storm Irene near the New Hope - Lambertville Bridge August 29, 2011 in Lambertville, NJ.
Water crests from Tropical Storm Irene near the New Hope - Lambertville Bridge August 29, 2011 in Lambertville, NJ.   (Getty Images)
This Monday Aug. 29, 2011 aerial photo released by the Connecticut Governor's Office shows homes along the shore of Long Island Sound in East Haven, Conn., damaged Sunday by Tropical Storm Irene.
This Monday Aug. 29, 2011 aerial photo released by the Connecticut Governor's Office shows homes along the shore of Long Island Sound in East Haven, Conn., damaged Sunday by Tropical Storm Irene.   (AP Photo/Connecticut National Guard, John Whitford)
Vivian Henao spreads photographs out to dry on the lawn of her future mother-in-law's home in Manville, N.J., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. The home was flooded by the Raritan River after Hurricane Irene passed through Sunday, dumping heavy rains on the region. Earlier Monday in Manville, Gov. Chris Christie...
Vivian Henao spreads photographs out to dry on the lawn of her future mother-in-law's home in Manville, N.J., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. The home was flooded by the Raritan River after Hurricane Irene passed...   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Destroyed by water smashing under the boardwalk, concrete park benches and tables are strewn about, near the beach in the Rockaway Park section of New York Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.
Destroyed by water smashing under the boardwalk, concrete park benches and tables are strewn about, near the beach in the Rockaway Park section of New York Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, in the wake of Tropical...   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
A New York State Police Trooper documents storm damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene on Route 73 in St. Huberts, N.Y., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011.
A New York State Police Trooper documents storm damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene on Route 73 in St. Huberts, N.Y., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011.   (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
Map shows a summary of Irene storm events Aug. 27-
Map shows a summary of Irene storm events Aug. 27-   (Associated Press)
Gov. Peter Shumlin, of Vermont, talks with reporters during a visit Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, in Brattleboro, Vt., after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Irene caused flash floods in the downtown area.
Gov. Peter Shumlin, of Vermont, talks with reporters during a visit Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, in Brattleboro, Vt., after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Irene caused flash floods in the downtown area.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont, right, and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., talk with reporters during a visit yesterday.
Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont, right, and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., talk with reporters during a visit yesterday.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Lindsey Jones makes her way down floodwater-damaged Rte. 4 in Woodstock, Vt. Monday Aug. 29, 2011. Jones has been hiking the Appalachian trail for two months and took shelter with an acquaintance in White River Junction, Vt.
Lindsey Jones makes her way down floodwater-damaged Rte. 4 in Woodstock, Vt. Monday Aug. 29, 2011. Jones has been hiking the Appalachian trail for two months and took shelter with an acquaintance in White...   (AP Photo/Valley News/Polina Yamshchikov)
Leonard Runnells wades into his yard in Springfield, Vt., to tie down a dumpster in rising floodwaters Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011.
Leonard Runnells wades into his yard in Springfield, Vt., to tie down a dumpster in rising floodwaters Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011.   (AP Photo/The Valley News, James M. Patterson)
People walk along a washed out section of Route 12 yesterday in Berlin, Vt.
People walk along a washed out section of Route 12 yesterday in Berlin, Vt.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
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