Now (at least, now that I have New Hampshire news sources) I can see what happened upcountry. It spoils one's objectivity when some of the neighbourhoods were your friends'. There are images of roads, recognisable as roads only because the rubble contains some chunks of asphalt with yellow stripes. The surroundings tell you that you used to drive down that road to hunt and fish. There is a town's main street, now a river, where I lived in my college years.
Not very pleasant, even at a distance.
When they were building the flood control projects, we understood there might be a price to pay some day. Our parents had seen the entire valley filled bluff to bluff with fifteen feet of water, and they were willing to take the chance. Some of my friends lived in the flood plain before the work was done, and spent every spring packed and ready to leave at moment's notice. The risk seemed good to them too. However, even in my youth we got used to thinking that the maximum flood stage was merely academic, that 1936 would never happen again, that the roads that traversed the flood zone would always be safe, that all the dams were sound.
Seems we were wrong. It happened again. Those roads are gone, and much else. Yes, the flood control projects spared the valley cities downstream from the worst consequences of their development follies, and for that one is very grateful.
Back of the dams and dikes, things are a wretched mess and I hope people remember that. I'm pleased to see that New Hampshire's Gov. Lynch seems to have offered more action and fewer sound bites than our fearless leader in Massachusetts. This might be someone to watch, if he can keep on delivering.