Flooding is the most frequent, damaging, and costly natural hazard experienced in Vermont. Flood damage is frequently experienced on a localized scale, when Tropical Storm Irene struck Vermont on August 28, 2011; however, flooding and damage were experienced on a statewide scale. Four to eight inches of rain rapidly fell throughout the state and rivers and streams flash flooded to levels only comparable to the Great Flood of 1927. More than 500 miles of road and 200 bridges were wiped out, a dozen communities were entirely isolated and over 1,600 homes were damaged and 700 completely destroyed. At great price, Irene exposed Vermont’s vulnerability to disasters of this nature.

This project grew out of an ES 401 project undertaken by a group of seniors in the Environmental Studies program at Middlebury College. The intent of this website is to use TS Irene as an opportunity for people to learn from the events of this disaster by creating interactive maps of the flood damage in the case study towns of Rochester, Hancock, Pittsfield, and Plymouth. All of the available data about damage to roads, bridges and homes was collected and mapped with the FEMA flood zones, the Fluvial Erosion Hazard Areas (FEH), the Stream Geomorphic Assessments (SGA), and the watershed information. Click on the case studies to explore the maps. For more about the project click here to read more…