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.”

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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.” (Read more Hurricane Irene stories.)

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