In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene Vermonters went to work. Nearly everyone with a backhoe took it upon themselves to be a part of the rebuilding process and they were heralded as heroes. But one year later environmental experts say someone should have pumped the brakes.
"It was a systemic breakdown from the people doing the work to the folks overseeing it to the state oversight which should have been in place," said Louis Porter of the Conservation Law Foundation.
Porter has been critical of the state for a lack of regulation during the emergency crisis.
"It's understandable, but really it's unfortunate. We're going to be paying the price for a lot of that work for a long time," Porter said.
"So much of the work that's done particularly initially is done to protect public safety," said Barry Cahoon, a river management engineer.
Cahoon was one of the few people on the ground who knew better than to ignore all permitting regulations, but says public safety took precedent and the state's message got muddled in crisis mode.
"On the minus side it tended to be interpreted by people as go into the rivers and do whatever they wanted," Cahoon said.
A Vt. Fish and Wildlife study shows 60 percent of fish in flooded areas did not survive excavation efforts.
"Seventy to eighty percent of our rivers have been channelized, bermed, dredged, flood plains were filled; that problem is everywhere," Cahoon said.
Cahoon says many areas where rocks were removed to rebuild roads are now more flood prone.
The White River Partnership put rocks in place along the side of the river to prevent future floods, but on the other side of this swift moving water you'll see trees and rocks have been removed, making it easier for the river to jump its banks in the event of future flooding.
"We are doomed to experience these events again," Cahoon said.
Cahoon says VTrans workers are now scouring the state working to mitigate flooding at these locations.
"It can take decades for rivers and fish populations to recover from bulldozers, excavators and man-made work in the streams," Porter said.
In many cases the damage may already be done. Both parties say education of town officials and a more careful allocation of resources in the future are key to preparing Vermont for another extreme storm.
Friday, May 24 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:30:10 GMT
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.State Police say Route 5 in Derby Line is closed near Caswell Avenue because of a hole in the pavement just a couple of feet over the lineMore >>
A hole in the road closed one of the routes into Canada Friday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:17:06 GMT
It was a storm that left residents with more damage than they could have ever imagined. "The basement has about 13 inches of water," said Bob Genter of Underhill. And preparing for the aftermath of theMore >>
Flash floods left destruction across the region. And the rain is not over. Heavy downpours left some people trapped in their neighborhoods as emergency crews work to try to clear the roads.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:54:18 GMT
Vermont State Police say the following roads have been closed due to flooding:UNDERHILL: VERMONT ROUTE 15, CILLEYHILL POKER HILL ROAD NORTH UNDERHILL STATION ROAD PAIGE ROAD DAUDLIN ROAD BROWNS TRACE,More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:20:50 GMT
As the cleanup gets underway from Thursday night's flash flooding, the focus shifts now to the broader impacts of rising rivers from around the region. All the rain so far and more to come is running intoMore >>
All the rain is running into larger streams and rivers that are moving rapidly toward flood stage.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:44 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:44:50 GMT
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend. So far, the impact has mainly been seen in roadMore >>
Heavy rains have caused more flooding problems around our region, and the situation could get worse as the rain continues to fall over the holiday weekend.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:51 AM EDT2013-05-24 13:51:55 GMT
Over the river and throught the woods isn't just the way to grandma's house, its the way a lot of people are having to travel just to make it to their front door. Dormant brooks and sleepy streams turnedMore >>
Strong rains Thursday flooded roads in Essex.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:25:14 GMT
A rainy Vermont City Marathon forecast isn't slowing down runners or organizers. "Well, we're going to make some liquid sunshine out of all of this rain. That's the only choice we've got right now," saidMore >>
The countdown is on to this weekend's Vermont City Marathon and final preps are underway. Those finishing touches are coming in the rain, but organizers say the weather isn't slowing things down.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:35 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:35:15 GMT
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex. The parade is held annually on the Saturday morning of the holiday weekend. But after all the rain and flooding damageMore >>
The bad weather has forced the postponement of the annual Memorial Day parade in Essex.More >>