The story this morning amongst a lot of the news outlets this morning are questioning whether or not Hurricane Irene was overhyped or not: much was made of the dangers of the storm, prompting massive evacuations from all along the eastern seaboard. The storm did dissapate quite a bit as it moved up the coast, downgrading to a tropical storm by the time that it reached New England, but where the storm lost wind, it made up for it in rainfall.
Earlier this spring, Vermont experienced some horrific floods following a wet spring: entire towns found themselves under water. Once again, flooding returned to Vermont, in what people are comparing to the epic floods of 1927, which killed numerous people and destroyed countless bridges. Driving around Vermont, look at the years in which they were build: many were built in 1927 or 1928: replacements.
This storm wasn’t overhyped, nor should we think that there’s any greater danger in overhyping a storm of this type.
The pictures from around the state are scary: my hometown of Moretown is under feet of water from the Mad River, Brattleboro is covered, and with houses and bridges swept away by the floods. People and resources were prepared, and a single person was swept away last night, with around twenty fatalities all told. Considering the population density of the Eastern seaboard, that’s a remarkable figure: had there been no evacuations or preparation, that number would surely rise.
It’s easy to prepare for the worst: it’s much harder if you’re caught unawares. Overhyped? Not for Vermont: we’ll be cleaning out and rebuilding out for weeks, if not months.