Tropical Storm Irene

Pat Bradley/WAMC

This week the nation is recognizing the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  But this week also marks the anniversary of another mega-storm that tracked across our region four years ago today. 

Ever since Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, Vermont has been pushing to make sure bridges and culverts are rebuilt to more flood-resistant standards. But the Federal Emergency Management Agency is rejecting, at least for now, the state's argument that the federal agency should pay 90 percent of the extra costs.

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Massachusetts’ highest court has reduced penalties imposed against two electric utilities by state regulators for their poor responses to a pair of 2011 storms that left hundreds of thousands of customers without power for days.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was in the Adirondacks today to cut the ribbon for a new firehouse and get an update on a road construction project.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed a checklist to help communities prepare for floods based on the experiences of communities in Vermont's Mad River Valley.

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Massachusetts’ highest court has heard arguments from three major utilities seeking to overturn record penalties stemming from their response to two major storms in 2011.

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More than two and a half years after Tropical Storm Irene raged through the region, homes that were made unliveable are finally being demolished.

With heavy snow expected, utility crews across northern New York and parts of Vermont are getting ready for what could be hours of repair and restoration work. With a series of severe weather events in recent years, power providers across the region have updated their plans to get ready for and respond to weather, and in some cases, man-made disasters. The New York Power Authority CEO, Gil Quiniones, spoke to WAMC about those changes. He says after Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, the Power Authority came up with 26 recommendations to improve communications during storms as part of its Lessons Learned Project.

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Two reports were issued Monday outlining policies and procedures that Vermont officials can implement to better prepare the state for natural disasters.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was in the Adirondack village of Ausable Forks this morning to announce a funding initiative for Tropical Storm Irene recovery and to present a check to rebuild a firehouse destroyed in that storm.

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

Two years after floodwaters from Tropical Storm Irene inundated the Vermont state office complex in Waterbury, workers are preparing to demolish some of the buildings.

The Vermont Labor Relations Board has denied 63 state workers who wanted double pay for working while displaced from their offices following Tropical Storm Irene.

Three Vermont towns will get a total of $1.8 million from a federal grant to help replace municipal buildings made unusable by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.

Newfane officials are planning to meet with representatives of Vermont Emergency Management and the Agency of Natural Resources to get advice before issuing contracts to replace two bridges that were destroyed by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.

A new report says Vermont is on target to close the vast majority of Irene-related cases by late summer, two years after flooding from the tropical storm damaged more than 7,000 homes.

Vermont officials are hoping a decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover the cost of replacing a culvert in Townshend destroyed by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene means more towns will be eligible for such funding.

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Vermont's congressional delegation says the state is going to get another $18.25 million to continue repairing roads damaged by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene and spring flooding in 2011.

The funding is part of $1.1 billion in new emergency relief funding approved by Congress. To get the federal funds Vermont will have to contribute about $4.26 million as a state match.

Courtesy NOAA

From afar, most of the damage Vermont sustained during Tropical Storm Irene last year appears to be fixed. But almost 16 months after the epic storm inundated the state, many Vermonters and state government are still working to recover.

It looks like the state of Vermont will not meet its goal of starting construction on a new psychiatric hospital in Berlin before the end of this month.

But acting Mental Health Commissioner Mary Moulton and local officials in Berlin say they think the project is still on track.

The town Development Review Board put off a decision on the project for at least two more weeks at a meeting Tuesday night.

Courtesy NOAA

One year after Tropical Storm Irene, repair crews remain busy in Greene County New York, where the reconstruction is expected to cost as much as $15 million on roads, bridges and culverts. For an update, WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke with Gary Harvey, the superintendent of the Greene County Highway Department.

Schoharie County in New York took perhaps the hardest hit from Tropical Storm Irene compared to any other upstate county. One year later, the recovery continues, but it could take another four years before all the damage has been repaired. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is one federal agency involved in the recovery, but it is local and state officials who have been on the front lines for the past year. For an update on Schoharie County, WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke to the chairman of the county board of supervisors, Howard Vroman.

At one point after Tropical Storm Irene moved through upstate New York one year ago, national grid reported 156,000  customers without power. For a look back, and a look at what has changed since the storm, WAMC’s Brian Shields talked today with Bill Flaherty, a regional executive with National Grid, who recalls the preparation before the storm hit.

Courtesy NOAA

Tropical Storm Irene caused damage or destroyed countless homes and businesses as rivers and streams became raging torrents. In Vermont, over 500 miles of state roads were damaged and 34 state highway bridges had to be rebuilt . Over 3000 local roads, culverts and bridges were damaged or destroyed. Towns were completely isolated and supplies were helicoptered to residents.  On this one year anniversary of the storm people in northern New York and Vermont are still rebuilding and many still need help.

One year ago today, Tropical Storm Irene moved into the northeast leaving flooding and destruction on a scale rarely seen in the region.

Homes and farmland were washed away, bridges and roads were destroyed, and trees and power lines were leveled leaving hundreds of thousands of people without service for days , and even weeks .

It’s been one year since Tropical Storm Irene came up the coast and into the northeast, leaving behind damage that most people and most communities had never witnessed before. One year later some the scars remain, but people have been slowly putting back their lives and towns. Dutchess County, in New York's Hudson Valley was hit hard by the wind, the rain and the flooding. Dutchess County executive Marc Molinaro spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields about how the county has fared one year later.

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Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and state officials were at a farm in Middlesex Wednesday morning to highlight agricultural and farm recovery, and continuing relief efforts, since Tropical Storm Irene hit the state nearly a year ago.

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  With the start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season  23 days away,  hundreds of people attended a hurricane preparedness conference Wednesday in Massachusetts.. The first of its kind event was hosted by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.