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*.