States struggle with Irene aftermath as floodwaters surge
Despite sunny skies, flood warnings remained in effect Wednesday for areas of several states hard-hit by Hurricane Irene, as authorities struggled to clean up and rebuild roads and bridges in the aftermath of the storm.
“Nobody that got hit with this flooding dodged a bullet,” Craig Fugate, Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, said Wednesday. “Loss of life, extensive damages, homes flooded … it may not have been as big a deal on the coast, but these flood areas definitely got hit hard.”
Irene killed 43 people from Florida to New England as it marched up the Eastern Seaboard over the weekend, dumping torrential rains. Some of the worst flooding struck Vermont, New Jersey and upstate New York.
The Passaic River in northern New Jersey seemed to mock the town of Little Falls as the water surging through it looked more like Niagara Falls.
“Before Irene hit, the Passaic River was already running high from frequent precipitation this summer,” Wheeler Antabanez of neighboring Montclair said. “When the hurricane blew through and dumped all that water on north Jersey, the river began to rage.”