Under Water

Govenor Shumlin just did a really nice job schooling CNN on Vermont geography, but, just in case you missed it, here’s a recap:

Vermont is a mountainous, rural state.  Rain falls on the mountains, runs down their sides, and into the rivers, along which we all live and drive.  (That third river down from the top, on the left by Lake Champlain is the Winooski.  I live six blocks from the lakeshore, just to the south of its outlet.)

The CNN reporter asked our governor why he didn’t have us evacuate.  His response:  how do you evacuate a whole state?  ALL of us live along waterways that are at risk. 

If our high ground could accomodate us, *we’d live there already*.

Our capital, Montpelier, is flooded and being evacuated.  Historic bridges, sometimes the only way in and out of communities, are washing out.  Our National Weather Service branch has been so busy keeping track of flooding reports that they haven’t had a chance to tabulate rainfall amounts yet, and it is still coming down.  The wind is still blowing mighty hard.

Maximum flooding is due between 2-4 AM, over six hours from now, with rivers likely to crest at 20 feet.

This video doesn’t show the water, but you can hear the heartbreak.  The Lower Barttonville Bridge stood was built in 1760, and washed away today, with its final moments caught on film.  RIP…

ETA: (9/4/11) Here are the best pictures I have seen of the real damage that the flood did.  These shots are mostly by helicopter, since, as you’ll see, much of Southern Vermont is impassible to vehicular traffic.  I passed two huge National Guard caravans on my way to Randolph on Saturday – major work continues throughout the state.  I also noticed that Fall in Vermont has a new color this year: pale mud brown, coating *everything*.

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6 Responses to Under Water

  1. CNN Reporters should be better “schooled” so that they don’t look like idiots on national television. Seems to me Gov. Shumlin did a great job at deflecting an uninformed reporter question. I was glad to see someone else caught that broadcast moment too.

    • Siggi says:

      Yeah; for folks who are covering national and international news, you’d think they might have taken a course or two in basic geography.

      I was thinking, as I told my kids to hush, that the last time I watched actual television on my actual television was during the revolution in Egypt back in the Spring. Learned about both online, and only went onto television for live coverage. Heard about Shumlin’s being on CNN from his twitterfeed!

  2. Tina says:

    I can’t see the video (I don’t have fb) but wow 😦

    • Siggi says:

      If you want to get a real picture of what is going on up here, follow #VTirene on twitter. Also, Weather Channel and CNN are starting to get a clue wrt Irene’s impact on VT.

      I’m absolutely heartsick, but with local flood warnings extended through tomorrow afternoon, I need to at least TRY to get some sleep tonight.

  3. Resa says:

    That’s very sad. I hate it when we lose unique bits of history like that. I hope that the local residents get their wish and the bridge is rebuilt as a covered bridge once again.

    • Siggi says:

      I strongly doubt that it will be rebuilt as a covered bridge; that technology was used to keep wooden bridges from rotting as quickly as they would if they were exposed. Not needed with modern materials and methods, which they’d likely have to use due to modern building codes. Tragic? Yes. Replacable? Not really, no.

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