Irene was down to being a tropical storm by the time she got to New England, but that didn't stop her from doing a TON of damage. I'm one of the lucky ones -- never lost power, no flooding, no wind damage. But based on the pictures I'm seeing and the people I'm hearing from, I'm in the minority.
The route to the fella's house was closed in at least three places this morning, two have since been cleared, but the last one I know of (the Agency of Transportation isn't keeping their map updated, so there may be more) is a major washout on a divided highway, and unlikely to be fixed any time soon.
Many of Vermont's picturesque covered bridges are gone or in pieces. Several towns are cut off from everything, including emergency services. Even the emergency services headquarters had to move mid-storm because of flooding. Crops are ruined, houses are falling apart, roads are gone, cars and propane tanks and decks are floating downriver, and several people have drowned because they got too close to the flooding.
The Red Cross and FEMA are out there along with local emergency personnel trying to put the state back together, but it's going to take a long time. Just getting a couple of temporary roads built so emergency services and utility repair crews can get to our now-isolated towns will take a week. There are volunteer groups offering to hike into places where vehicles can't go to deliver supplies or walk people out.
It's a mess. If you're able, please donate to the Red Cross in Vermont.