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2011 0830 xirene 043

The Herald-Dispatch

A worker assesses a tree that fell on a power line in Sparta, N.J., Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. Many Sparta residents have been without power since Sunday due to downed power lines from Hurricane Irene. (AP Photo/Chelsea Matiash)

Gallery: Residents recover from Hurricane Irene damage

Aug. 30, 2011 @ 02:25 PM

NEWFANE, Vt. (AP) -- National Guard helicopters are taking food and water to Vermont towns cut off by flood-damaged roads and bridges.

About a dozen towns in the southern part of the state were rendered inaccessible by vehicular traffic after heavy rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Irene on Sunday.

Deputy state Transportation Secretary Sue Minter says state crews hope to re-establish ground contact with all isolated communities Tuesday.

About 20,000 Vermont utility customers remain without power, but crews can't begin to restore power until they can reach the affected communities.

Vermont Emergency Management spokesman Mark Bosma says that in addition to Guard helicopters, special trucks are carrying emergency supplies to towns whose roads may be passable for them but not for the public.

(u'nobuy',)