(Host) For the past few days, the main priority for Vermont officials has been restoring power to tens of thousands of people.
Now, they are also beginning to focus on re-establishing east-west travel in the southern part of the state.
Interstate highways are intact running North-South. But getting from East to West – and vice-versa – in Southern Vermont has been nearly impossible since Irene came through on Sunday.
Deputy Transportation Secretary Sue Minter says that restoring those routes is quickly becoming a top priority:
(Minter) "Huge corridors, for travelers, for visitors, for commerce. We see that as the next level of priority to establish very passable routes there. And that’s a big lift because we have literally roads, huge segments of roads gone there … I don’t think we’re going to let east-west travel go, be not available before winter, if we can possibly manage it."
(Host) The Army National Guard is on the ground helping reconstruct roads in Vermont.
Of the 102 state roads that were inaccessible after the storm, 26 have now been opened.