• irene
    (Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
    Rev. Emily Heath paints a sign reading "We Are Praying for You" outside her church in Wilmington, Vermont August 29, 2011, a day after Hurricane Irene flooded the downtown, ruining many businesses.
  • irene
    (Photo: REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana)
    Residents walk along Highway 12, the main road that connects Cape Hatteras National Seashore to the mainland, after it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene in Rodanthe, North Carolina August 28, 2011. Picture taken August 28, 2011.
By Audrey Barrick, Christian Post Reporter
August 30, 2011|9:10 am

The death toll from Hurricane Irene has jumped to 40 as more people were pulled out of floodwaters, according to new reports.

The latest number is nearly double what was reported on Sunday, according to ABC News.

Millions of residents in 11 states were affected by Irene as it roared across the East Coast after making landfall in North Carolina Saturday morning. Though it arrived on the U.S. coast as a Category 1 storm, Irene still left billions of dollars in damage and dozens of people dead.

According to the National Weather Service, flooding continues in New England, New York and New Jersey due to heavy rainfall from Irene and most rivers have either crested or are expected to crest Tuesday.

Flash flood watches and warnings are still in effect.

For Vermont, Irene caused the state's worst flooding since the Great Flood of 1927.

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"When you see Vermont covered bridges washing down our rivers, those bridges have been there for hundreds of years, so they survived the floods of the 1928 and '30s. And what that means is that, frankly, we're experiencing flooding now in many areas of Vermont that is unprecedented in record keeping," Gov. Peter Shumlin said.

Among Vermont's victims was a young girl who was swept away by the Deerfield River.

U.S. officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, are scheduled to travel to the worst-hit states – North Carolina, Virginia and Vermont – on Tuesday to assess the damage.

Meanwhile, disaster relief groups are already on the ground, providing meals and cleaning up what Irene left behind.

The Salvation Army is stationed up and down the East Coast, serving thousands of people a day through its canteens and mobile feeding units.

"[F]looding remains a problem, particularly in New England, and there is a significant response ongoing," said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary in the U.S., in a statement Monday. "It is critical that we provide the base of support for damage assessment teams, rescue personnel and survivors to ensure everyone weathers the fallout from this storm safely."