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MIAMI (AP) – The director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami says forecasters are trying to apply lessons from Hurricane Irene’s destruction to their storm preparedness message this year.

Flooding from Irene was the most destructive event to hit Vermont in almost a century, killing six people, leaving hundreds homeless and damaging or destroying hundreds of miles of roads.

Hurricane center director Bill Read said Thursday that forecasters believe they accurately conveyed the potential inland impacts of the storm. He says the forecasts for Irene were among the best he’s seen on rainfall from a hurricane making landfall.

Many in New England contend that Irene’s flooding caught them by surprise. Read says overcoming that communications gap is a challenge for forecasters.

The six-month hurricane season begins June 1.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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