Shelters Open Around Vermont, Many Evacuated

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Vermont is beginning to access the damage from Hurricane Irene, which hit the state yesterday, causing widespread flooding.

The extent of the damage to homes, roads and businesses is unknown at this point, but is expected to be widespread.

Vermont emergency management officials say nine Red Cross shelters have been opened around the state, but it’s unknown how many people are using the shelters at this hour. Many towns have also opened their own shelters.

In Rutland, 80 people were removed from two residential care facilities and taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center. And in Waterbury, water from the Winooski River rose into the Vermont State office complex, forcing patients in some areas of the Vermont State Hospital to be moved.

And the flooding in Waterbury also means the state’s emergency operations center had to be relocated late last night to the Federal Emergency Management Headquarters in Burlington. The center lost power, and with floodwaters rising, officials decided to move the center out of concerns for the safety of workers.

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