Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cleaning Up After Irene; Transportation Challenges in Vermont

The enormity of the flooding is now clear; the long arduous task of cleaning up the mess has started.

Irene created the worst flooding Vermont has seen in over eighty years - say anything in Vermont about how Irene was overblown and you'll wake up in the ER.

One under-reported item I wanted to call attention to was the damage to Vermont's rail network. The rail system is starting to work again, but took a major pounding (just as the Vermont road network did). Most notably, the New England Central Railroad and the Green Mountain Railroad (part of Vermont Rail System) are out of commission on their main lines, with numerous washouts and knocked-out bridges. For train nerds like myself, this is the story I'll be watching - will the damage be too much to justify both of their rebuildings? Flooding in New England was the doom of several rail lines in the 1930s. Hopefully, I'm way off base here.

I'm wrapping up my own following of news from waterlogged upstate New York and Vermont; but here are some places to keep tabs on how recovery efforts are going:

For Vermont:

Burlington Free Press

Rutland Herald

Vermont Public Radio (Irene-specific links here and here)

For New York:

Albany Times-Union

The Watershed Post

For Rail news:

Google News Search: "Vermont railroad Irene"

VRS and Rutland RR Yahoo! group

New England Central Railroad Yahoo! group