Two years ago, spring flooding caused widespread destruction. Later that same year, in August 2011, Hurricane Irene devastated Vermont, causing more than $500 million in damage. This past May, severe storms closed 30 state and local bridges. Now, Vermont is on the verge of asking the president to issue federal disaster assistance after widespread, torrential rain caused significant flooding. Rivers have already overflowed and the state has closed roads throughout the hardest hit parts of Vermont. Lake Champlain is inches from flood level – a record for July. With days of rain forecast, the lake is expected to pass the flood stage next week.
While Vermonters are experiencing torrential rain, people in the western part of the country are experiencing a massive heat wave and drought. Many scientists believe the extreme weather disturbances that we are now seeing are a clear indication of climate change. Bernie, whointroduced comprehensive climate change legislation, is helping lead the effort to reverse global warming. “To ensure a healthy planet for our kids and grandchildren, we need to transfer our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy,” Bernie said.