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Texas Tops 10 States Ravaged by Extreme Weather in 2011

No. 9 Vermont

Spring flooding follwed by Tropical Storm Irene in August caused VT to have an exceptionally wet year with flood damage from Irene alone estimated at over $200 million. Credit: Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images. 

Just as most of the Northeast thought they had escaped the worst of Irene’s wrath, the super-saturated tropical storm ravaged Vermont. The furious rains battered more than 2,000 roads spanning 500 miles in the state, paralyzing commerce, stranding people and demolishing thousands of homes and businesses. More than 175 roads were completely destroyed and have only been rebuilt months later in what has been described as a model of fast-paced recovery from a disaster.

 This all came after one of the snowiest winters on record, which produced record snowmelt. In May, heavy rain and all that melting snow drove Lake Champlain to its highest level on record, flooding several nearby towns. Record-setting rains helped set the stage for Irene’s damage by saturating the ground and putting streams and rivers at unusually high levels when the storm arrived.

Vermont officials say the total damage costs from Irene will be between $175 and $250 million.

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