National Guard soldiers on Tuesday began airlifting food and water to about a dozen Vermont towns that have been cut off by the raging waters that remained after Hurricane Irene.

At least three deaths have been reported in that state, which was somewhat reshaped by the flood waters from Irene.

Irene is said to be the worst natural disaster in that area since an epic flood in 1927.

Vermont National Guard troops are bringing food, water and other emergency supplies via air and road where possible.

We've got a really long road ahead, said Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin. Irene whacked us hard.

Vermont had one of the rainiest springs and summers on record.

Irene dumped up to 11 inches of rain on the state over the weekend and caused usually calm rivers in the state to transform into powerful torrents that washed away at least three iconic covered bridges and closed about 250 roads.

Vermont Emergency Management spokesman Mark Bosma told The Associated Press that the helicopters would bring relief to people in a string of small towns where roads and bridges were washed out: Cavendish, Granville, Hancock, Killington-Mendon, Marlboro, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Rochester, Stockbridge, Strafford, Stratton and Wardsboro.

Officials have also used heavy-duty National Guard vehicles to reach communities where roads may be passable, The AP reported.

The death toll from Hurricane Irene has reached 42 people in 12 states as of Tuesday afternoon. Additionally, more than 2.5 million people from North Carolina to Maine are still without electricity some three days after the hurricane tackled the East Coast.