Red Cross volunteers heading to the northeast to help Hurricane Irene victims

Vermont was the hardest-hit state

Thousands of people are still without power in the northeast after Hurricane Irene ripped through and left behind millions of dollars in damage.

Vermont is the hardest-hit state and the local Red Cross is actively taking part in the cleanup and recovery efforts.

The heavy rains from Hurricane Irene triggered massive flooding across Vermont. It will be difficult for many people there to start over.

Relief supplies are being flown to towns like Rochester and Stratton. Some communities are being reached by primitive back country roads.

"Water started coming from the river towards the house," said one homeowner.

4,000 Red Cross workers from South Florida are pouring into the state. 26 of them are from from Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, including Regional Executive Rob Levine. The tragedy strikes close to home for Levine. He is native of Vermont and says he's reminded of an old saying in his home state, "you can't get there from here."

Sadly, that's been all too true as raging waters have wiped out roads, bridges and entire communities.

"It's heartbreaking to see so many places torn apart. There are some very historical places in the rural communities," said Levine.

Rebuilding, he says, could take months in some places and years in others. On Wednesday, President Obama pledged the nation's support in that effort.

"As a government, we are going to make sure states and communities have support they need so folks can recover," said the president.

Levine says volunteers from our area are expected to stay in Vermont throughout the weekend and then return home. He says the Red Cross itself will need a helping hand as relief efforts stretch its resources yet again.

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