Hurricane Irene Hits Vermont the Hardest: Was the U.S. Prepared?

News 2011/08/29 15:00:00
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The East Coast feared the worst as Hurricane Irene hit Puerto Rico last week and continued to barrel toward Florida, but now that the dreaded weekend is over damage reports are lower than expected.

Originally, it was believed 65 million people in America could be affected by the hurricane, so much of New England was in a state of emergency for the past several days, stocking up on food and preparing dangerous structures, such as nuclear plants and refineries, for the worst.

Some areas were still hit hard -- particularly in the the Catskill Mountains spanning from upstate New York to Vermont, where several small towns were severely flooded. Some reports say a few towns in Vermont were almost completely underwater.

However, major cities like NYC and Boston were barely touched, which means Kenny Chesney's Massachusetts cancellation was for naught.

Better safe than sorry, right?

President Obama is not letting his guard down, though. As the East Coast caught its breath on Sunday, he made an announcement concerning the hurricane with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at his side.

He said, "I want people to understand that this is not over. Many Americans are still at serious risk of power outages and flooding, which could get worse in the coming days as rivers swell past their banks."

So far, at least 22 people have been confirmed or presumed dead, and The Bellingham Herald estimates damages to be in the $5 billion to $7 billion range, including damage done to homes, businesses, roads, and bridges.
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Top Opinion

  • bronx 2011/08/29 15:41:12
    Prepared as much as possible, mother nature does rule over all preparation.

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  • dlsofsetx 2011/09/30 00:53:34
    Compared to hurricanes that have hit the Gulf Coast since Katrina in 2005,Irene was a tempest in a teapot.
  • Noah Vaile 2011/09/29 19:05:33
    Noah Vaile
    "President Obama is not letting his guard down, ... he made an announcement with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at his side."
    He announced that in case of flooding he would roll Ms Napolitano across the water's path to act as a dam and prevent damage.
  • Kat 2011/09/01 23:53:08
    We in southern RI were prepared.
  • PapaBC 2011/08/30 15:06:50
    What do you expect a giant tarp to stop the rain?
  • Josh Robinson R.P.2012' PWCM. 2011/08/30 14:53:23
    Josh Robinson  R.P.2012' PWCM.
    The U.S. isn't prepared for ''ANYTHING'' anymore... ITS BROKE...OUT OF CASH...GONE BUST....! VOTE RON PAUL AND END THESE UNDECLARED WARS...! prepared broke cash bust vote ron paul undeclared wars ronpaul
  • DrewTaylor 2011/08/30 14:48:25
    I do not really think so. You would have to ask H.A.R.R.P. a question like that just like you would have to ask the Illuminate questions like was the U.S.A. prepared fo 9/11.
  • Jacqui 2011/08/30 14:36:39
    GREAT JOB...
  • Bellatrix232 2011/08/30 13:48:09
    No one can be prepared fora disaster like Irene. If they'd been prepared, they would have been able to prevent people from dying
  • jmc07806-PWCM-JLA 2011/08/30 13:26:54
    The US was prepared as much as it could be when facing mother nature. The state Goveernors did the lions share of work.
  • RogerCoppock 2011/08/30 13:11:49
    No one is EVER prepared for a hurricane.

    The death toll is now 41 and counting.
  • Tigger Too 2011/08/30 13:00:09
    Tigger Too
    Damages to homes, businesses and infrastructure, AND loss of life, caused by Hurricane Irene were minimal because the East Coast WAS prepared for the storm. I'm a little confused here... There are actually some people who sound as though they're disappointed that the hurricane WASN'T worse than what was predicted. Some folks are even going so far as to blame President Obama, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials all up and down the East Coast for being OVERLY prepared for Hurricane Irene. Were the meteorologists wrong about how badly the storm would affect the eastern seaboard? Thankfully, yes. However, does America really want or need a repeat of performance of Hurricane Katrina, where the lack of preparation and safeguards were woefully inadequate? I think not.
  • Omni 2011/08/30 12:12:24 (edited)
  • JP Omni 2011/08/30 13:47:03
    That is because Obama hates you.
  • Omni JP 2011/08/30 14:52:43
  • Tracie ... Omni 2011/08/30 14:14:55
    Tracie Richards~PWCM~JLA
    and now...because you've said this...the leaves will follow you for DAYS!!! They'll be in your car! On your pets! My God Man...You'll even find them stuck to....YOUR SHOES!!! *insert scary music here* REPENT YOUR RASH WORDS WHILE THERE"S STILL TIME!!!!
  • Radlad 2011/08/30 10:50:11
    They were predicting this to be a category 3 maybe 4 hurricane. When it hit the US it was a tropical storm. A lot of rain some downed trees sadly a few deaths. This thing was blown so out of proportion by the msm the liberals trying to make some link to a non phenomenon they call global warming. I believe they are really angry over the fact that irene fizzled out and mass destruction and deaths did not occur. All that hype to blame on global warming the irrelevant joke the msm has become...............
  • Omni Radlad 2011/08/30 12:14:19 (edited)
  • amoobrasil Radlad 2011/08/30 13:43:20
    No one ever defines terms any more, but it seems to me that those who call themselves "conservative" today are really those who defend, mostly with name-calling and ungrounded allegations, the corporatist state that has made global corporations the true constituents of our elected representatives (especially the GOP, enthralled to Corporate America and Wall Street), and who scapegoat people who cannot defend themselves, like the unemployed, the hungry, the medically uninsured, undocumented immigrants, and the poor in general. A "liberal" is simply anyone who does not toe the corporatist party line. (I recall the Communists calling "reactionary" any person or entity that did not toe its party line.) There is no freedom without mutual respect, mature rationality, and tolerance. A mob mentality cannot govern.
  • Myrle Hulme 2011/08/30 08:20:58
    Myrle Hulme
    It could of been worse
  • Radlad Myrle H... 2011/08/30 10:52:26
    Oh, hell yeah. You are right. Fortunately, it fizzled and did not live up to the hype the msm was hoping for.............
  • 13_JunkyardDog 2011/08/30 07:48:33
  • Radlad 13_Junk... 2011/08/30 10:52:49
  • kedu(Duke) 2011/08/30 07:11:32
    man cannot control nature,no matter how much preparations are put in place
  • Omni kedu(Duke) 2011/08/30 12:16:05 (edited)
    He could have prepared, however. Like having electrical companies prepare themselves for the electrical shut down that's been around for days. Or have the town's prepare for all the tree's in the streets. These tree's have been around in the street's for days, and nobody's done anything about them. Because of that, streets are shut down. Not to mention, since there's no power, there's no traffic lights. Preparing a few generator's for that exact reason would have helped too.
  • JP Omni 2011/08/30 13:47:41
    Ever try to prepare for yourself?
  • Omni JP 2011/08/30 14:54:03
    Prepare how? In terms of food, and necessary provisions in the house, I'm fine.
  • JP Omni 2011/08/30 15:14:29
    Good! I always say be prepared or prepare to be a victim.
  • Omni JP 2011/08/30 15:46:31
    I'm a victim of no electricity, but unfortunately I don't own a house, and the person who I'm living with, who does own the house, didn't wanna buy a generator. FFFUUUU
  • DANNY_B0i♛ 2011/08/30 05:35:49
    You can only prepare so much for an unpredictable storm.
  • Lilymoon 2011/08/30 02:40:20
    We were given plenty of time to get ready. People in my neighborhood were taping their windows. We just secured stuff outside and waited it out.
  • Joe Falzone 2011/08/30 01:05:28
    Joe Falzone
    Comparing the outcome of this Hurricane many precautions in the millions were executed over a distance of thousands of miles....Damn good if you ask me
  • john doe 2011/08/30 01:01:04
    john doe
    it is virtually impossible for the U.S. to be prepared for a natural event such as this.
  • Radlad john doe 2011/08/30 10:58:21
    Not an accurate statement. A hurricane we can see coming from a long way away. We'd have at least a week's warning of where it is likely to make landfall and to head for higher ground. Move ships out to sea away from the danger.
  • john doe Radlad 2011/08/30 12:19:25
    john doe
    yet we fail every time, it's not that easy. Trying to prevent damage from a hurricane is like trying to stop a volcano from errupting.
  • biggerman 2011/08/29 23:53:59 (edited)
    The hype over "Irene" was overblown as every thing the media does is overblown. Proponents of global warming were predicting this exaggerated catastrophe so that they could have some help from nature to prove their rediculous theory. The predicted increase in the number and severity of hurricanes due to global warming has not occurred. Therefore, the complicit media and the pseudo-scientific community tried to drum up some hysteria to pump up some credibility for their bs theory. Unfortunately for them (fortunately for the majority of folks along the Eastern Seaboard) Irene did not cooperate.
  • Omni biggerman 2011/08/30 12:18:24 (edited)
    Hurricane's don't usually hit the East. Not to mention, this was a real hurricane! There were, and still are, totaled tree's everywhere (blocking streets), flooding, and because of the electrical shut down, no traffic lights... for days.
  • biggerman Omni 2011/08/31 03:22:14
    Oh, yes, I am sure that the damage done by Irene was significant, to say the least. I certainly have nothing but compassion and empathy for those who been hurt by this storm. However, I have a degree of contempt for the alarmists who make political and philosophical capital out of things like this. The fact is, the weather is difficult to predict and offers up its yearly anomolies year after year. There really is nothing unusual about the fact that the weather does unpredictible and unusual things.
  • Omni biggerman 2011/08/31 13:42:26 (edited)
    There's already people dead from it too (two people dead in New Haven), and the dock's in some of the town shore's have been completely disfigured. I have no idea what news stations you've been watching, but the news stations here seemed pretty spot on about it. Maybe the news stations that weren't apart of the East were exaggerating the Hurricane's potential damage.
  • biggerman Omni 2011/09/01 19:23:25
    Most of the exaggeration was done before the hurricane hit while the Media was capable of being subjective. Once the damage was done, it is a little more difficult to not to be objective. They can now report fact rather that conjecture.
  • Noah Vaile biggerman 2011/09/29 19:00:38
    Noah Vaile
    Since facts generally get in the way of hype, the facts were gently reported and subsequently ignored as new hype, same as the old hype, was focused on.
    At the same time meteorologists can't predict what will happen later this afternoon with much more accuracy than you get looking out your window- yet the alarmists claim they can predict with perfect accuracy what will happen in a hundred years. With no way to verify it. At least we know all we have to do is wait a couple of hours or a day or two to verify normal weather predictions.

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