It’s been nearly three weeks since the fury of Tropical Storm Irene struck the East Coast and destroyed hundreds of homes and roads in Vermont. The storm also left hundreds of residents stranded and prompted a airlift of food and supplies to those cut off because the roads were not only impassable, but washed completely away. From the damage it caused to individual homes to the havoc wreaked on the government state offices, the damages are estimated to be close to $20 million in clean up alone. In Waterbury, Irene dealt a devastating blow to the state.
Storm Irene’s flooding didn’t just damage hundreds of roads and homes in Vermont. Officials called Irene one of the worst natural disasters in the state’s history. Even with all of the other states that had been in the storms’ path, it’s been said that Vermont posed the most complicated cleanup effort of all of the states that had been struck.
During the time since the storm rolled through the state, its residents have been toiling to get back on its feet. Money has been moving through government hands and into the hands of farmers and business owners – to the tune of $10 million – to help get the infrastructure in motion. The money given to the business and farm owners will help hold them over until they can seek further funding and offers the provision that the money doesn’t need to be paid back for one year.
Government officials also worked with residents to distribute the tens of thousands of dollars worth of donated goods into the hands of those in need. The donations were welcome in a state that is looking at least $500 million in repairs to its roads and the $20 million in clean up for the government complex in Waterbury.
One of the blessings that have been noted is that even though the area was hammered with record amounts of rain, it was not impacted by any damaging winds. Dairy and vegetable farmers were impacted but many of the state’s apple growers say their crop survived and feel they’re looking at a great crop in spite of the storm.
Complete recovery could take years – decades even – and it’s likely that some of the state’s businesses and homeowners will never recover from the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene.