Hurricane Irene Damages and Costs Are Assessed

After Hurricane Irene rattled through the East coast, the extent of damage left by the storm has been calculated, including 40 deaths in seven affected states.

Vermont experienced the worst flooding in a century due to the storm. The state Governor, Peter Shumlin, admitted that it was unlike anything he had ever seen before.

"We haven't seen flooding like this, certainly since the early part of the 1900s. The areas that got flooding are in really tough shape," Shumlin said, according to Business Week. "We prepared for the worst and we got the worst in central and southern Vermont. We have extraordinary infrastructure damage."

ABC news reports that in addition to higher than average snowfall in the winter and rivers this summer, Irene brought 11 inches of rain to Vermont. Although bridges and other infrastructure were reportedly damaged, Greg Hanson, National Weather Service Hydrologist said people’s homes may have also been affected.

"We've heard reports of houses and cars washing away," Hanson said, according to Business Week. "We're keeping our fingers crossed all those were empty."

President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration for Vermont on Monday.

"We're continuing to deal with the impact and the aftermath of Hurricane Irene," Obama said. "We're going to make sure folks have all the support they need as they begin to assess and repair the damage left by the storm."

In the New York tri-state area, 15 of the 40 reported deaths stemming from Irene took place. Seven were in New Jersey while six occurred in New York. In New Jersey, the storm caused 625,860 people to lose their power.

Ralph LaRossa, president and COO of PSE&G energy services in the state, said he never experienced a storm like Irene.

"Our state has never before experienced a storm of this magnitude," LaRossa said according to WNYC. "PSE&G will have about 6,000 employees supporting the restoration effort, including 840 linemen and 540 tree contractors available to respond to outages.”

Although clean-up crews have been working to restore power, 358,000 homes were still without power on Monday.

In New York, 38,000 residents were still without power on Monday. Although the city was not hit as hard as some expected, some counties upstate acquired 13 inches of rain from the storm.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said although there is a lot of work to do, he has no doubt that it can be done.

"We have a big cleanup job ahead of us, no question about that," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a press conference. "In the grand scheme of things, it isn't something that most people can't survive through."

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