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New threat of flooding in Vermont after Irene

September 2, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Vermont can't seem to catch a break. Irene left a huge mess behind, and now heavy rains pose a new threat of flooding.

Flash flood warnings are in effect for several areas. President Barack Obama has declared a disaster in the state, clearing the way for federal aid.

On top of that, around 900,000 people up and down the East Coast still have to make do without power.

Utility companies are taking a lot of heat for not getting things up and running right away, but they said they warned the public that Irene could cause prolonged outages.

In the meantime, people are taking cold showers or washing up at shelters, using camp stoves and grills to cook, competing for ice at the grocery store and relying on generators and hand-cranked radios.

Irene has been blamed for at least 46 deaths in 13 states. With the streets drying out in hard-hit New Jersey, some towns faced new problems, namely trash bins overflowing with waterlogged debris.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.