Northeast Still Recovering from Irene

Nearly five months after August’s devastating Hurricane Irene, much of the American Northeast is still making repairs to roads, bridges, and agricultural land. In the seven days between the storm’s formation and dissipation, Irene killed 56 people and caused about $10 billion worth of damage. Of that cost, about $7 billion was limited to the United States.

Irene hit New England hard. Vermont in particular suffered the bulk of the damage with repair costs estimated to be about $200 million. Although much of that will be covered by the federal government, state officials have set up disaster funds and outside charities have worked hard to help Vermonters still suffering from the storm.

The agricultural sector, in particular, is suffering from the damages caused by Irene. According to Chuck Ross, the Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, damage done to the farming sector will easily top $20 million.

The agriculture community in the state of Vermont has come though it incredibly well,” Ross said, “but make no mistake, there were significant and damaging impacts on the farming community in the state of Vermont.”

Despite these losses, Ross is confident that, given the funding available through the federal government and state agencies, Vermont farmers will bounce back from the storm.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer