While New York City escaped the worst of Tropical Storm Irene, much of Vermont did not. The state saw bridges washed away, roads battered and power lines downed in the midst of what officials say is the worst flooding in more than 80 years.

“We prepared for the worst and we got the worst in central and southern Vermont,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said Monday. “We have extraordinary infrastructure damage.” One woman was swept away by an overflowing river in the town of Wilmington. The state capital, Montpelier, is expected to suffer more flooding if officials decide to drain Marshal Reservoir, which is being threatened by still-rising floodwaters. State buildings remained closed Monday. –ARK

BBC:

Hundreds of people have been told to leave the state capital, Montpelier, which could face two inundations: firstly from Irene, and again if the local water company decides to release water to save the Marshal Reservoir, a local dam where waters are reaching record levels.

… “It’s very serious for us at the moment in Vermont. The top two-thirds of the state are inundated with rapidly rising waters, which we anticipate will be an issue for the next 24 hours,” said Robert Stirewalt, a spokesman for Vermont Emergency Management Agency.

Authorities said the hurricane was the worst natural disaster since a terrible flood in 1927.

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