Flooding & Disaster

We’ve been pretty quiet the past couple of days here on the blog: it’s a busy time of the year for me, and what with the flooding, road closures and general upheaval in the state, we’ve dropped some of our usual features in the interests of road and traveller safety. If you’re interested in seeing what is going on in the meantime, check back on one of our earlier posts about where we look: colleges, game stores, and so forth are still holding events: just be careful out there, especially as we face a second round of rain storms.

The flooding has put into perspective a number of things that are both speculative and non-fictional. Over the past couple of days, I’ve seen a lot of talk about how this is a portent of things to come: that climate change is a certain factor in the flooding. I don’t think that this is the case. Statistically, we can expect floods of certain magnitudes to hit every century, half-century, decade and yearly. This flood certainly falls into that category, and even fits with what we saw back in 1927: a tropical storm that wandered up to the state and dumped quite a bit of rain on our fair state.

That being said, is global climate change a factor? Most likely, if anything, in the increased potential for stronger hurricane seasons as the planet’s oceans warm up: however, these are trends that are hard to predict, realtime, and like the determination of recession in the country, we can likely make that determination with more certainty. However, it does make for very good evidence of the damage that storms can bring as a result of warmer temperatures, and the entire range of consequences that that has on our lives.

If this is a signal for things to come, it’s a strong demonstration that our state, despite the longer winters, will be affected, and that the effects will have larger consequences: roads and towns wiped off the maps, our agriculture drowned under rapidly rising and shifting rivers, and a financial burden that will make life harder for everyone.

But, it also brought out the best in our state: the outpouring of relief aid from fellow Vermonters, the help and assistance that people provided for their neighbors and the strength that Vermont has shown brings me much hope for the future. The roads and towns of Vermont might be broken, but not the people.