Vermont epic flooding (again)


A road half washed away by flooding. Pylons are on the remaining road as a warning sign.

Hurricane Irene, 2011: On the border of Waitsfield and Warren, Vermont, the massive and sudden flooding of Mad River caused by Hurricane Irene destroyed half of Route 100. 200 other roads across the state sustained catastrophic damage and were closed due to washouts from the heavy rains that pelted the state for nearly twenty-four hours. Some towns were completely cut off. Photo: Orin Langelle – GJEP


July 12, 2023: During this week parts of Vermont, including Montpelier, the state’s Capitol, have been inundated by rain, producing floods not seen since the “once in a lifetime” Hurricane Irene touchdown on 28 August 2011.
Though it was downgraded to a “tropical storm” by the time it reached Vermont, Irene’s torrential rains wreaked havoc around the state.  In Warren, Vermont, the state’s emergency management office succumbed to the flooding waters and had to relocate to Burlington—the state’s largest city.
This week’s torrential rain also hit parts of New York state’s Hudson Valley. “My friends, this is the new normal,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
On 11 July 2023  Popular Science wrote, “The storm is the latest example of how catastrophic flooding likely fueled by climate change can hit anywhere. The air can hold more moisture as temperatures rise, leading to more severe rainfall that floods places that aren’t situated close to major bodies of water, including states like Vermont. Experts suggest that the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan last summer that left one third of the country under water and killed over 1,000 people was exacerbated by climate change.”
To see more photos by Orin Langelle and GJEP’s coverage of Vermont’s 2011 storm, please see Photo Essay from Vermont: The Recovery from Hurricane Irene Begins published on 30 August 2011 on Climate Connections.


This year Global Justice Ecology Project is celebrating our 20th Anniversary.  As part of this year-long celebration, we will be posting photos by co-founder Orin Langelle, Director of Langelle Photographydocumenting different aspects and achievements of GJEP over those 20 years, as well as photos from events and activities beginning 30 years ago in 1993 that led to the formation of Global Justice Ecology Project ten years later.