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RATTLEBORO, Vt. -- Vermont residents battled epic flooding Monday after the remnants of Hurricane Irene set off the state's worst deluge in more than 80 years, washing out roads, knocking out power and forcing hundreds into shelters.
At least two people were killed in the mountainous, land-locked New England state, which rarely sees tropical storms. A dozens towns were cut off.
Homes and businesses were flooded after 7 inches of rain inundated the state from Irene, which had been reduced to a tropical storm by the time it reached Vermont on Sunday. Floodwaters gushed through downtown Brattleboro, an artsy community of 12,000 along the Connecticut River.
Along the East Coast, many of the worst effects arose from rains that fell inland, not the highly anticipated storm surge along the shores. Winds also added to the damage by sending trees into powerlines, homes and vehicles.

At 8 a.m. ET Monday, nearly 5.5 million homes and businesses were still without power, the U.S. Department of Energy reported.
Hardest hit were New York state with 938,000 (12 percent of all customers); Connecticut with 693,000 (44 percent); New Jersey with 693,000 (20 percent) Virginia with 615,000 (19 percent); Massachusetts with 567,000 (19 percent).
In addition, Rhode Island saw 64 percent of its customers, 274,000 homes and businesses, without power.
During the course of Irene, 7.4 million customers lost power — nearly double the outages from the last hurricane to make landfall in the United States in 2008.
In Vermont, even though the sun was out on Monday, officials worried that more damage could still be done.
"The bigger rivers haven't crested yet because the smaller brooks feed into them," Gov. Peter Shumlin said Monday morning.
Irene left millions without power across much of the Eastern Seaboard, was blamed for at least 35 deaths and forced airlines to cancel more than 12,000 flights .

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