Seven Vermont counties hit by severe flooding earlier this summer will get federal assistance for storm clean up and infrastructure repairs.
Gov. Phil Scott announced Thursday morning that President Donald Trump has granted the state’s request for a disaster declaration. The decision means communities and public utilities in the seven affected counties will receiving funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover 75 percent of costs related to storm response and recovery.
“This declaration will provide much-needed financial relief for the communities that that were affected and continue to have significant cleanup and repairs to complete after this storm,” Scott in a written statement. “I commend the local and state officials and work crews for their recovery efforts, and thank our federal partners, including FEMA and the White House staff for their responsiveness.”
Projects eligible for FEMA assistance include debris removal and repairs to public roads, bridges, and other infrastructure with damage resulting from the storm, according to the Scott administration.
The disaster declaration includes Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Orange, Rutland, Washington and Windsor counties.
A so-called Preliminary Damage Assessment conducted by FEMA calculated nearly $5 million in public infrastructure damage, well more than the $1 million needed to qualify for a federal disaster declaration.
The Scott administration says the damages identified in the Preliminary Damage Assessment “are only a partial accounting of the total damages suffered from the storm and the final tally will likely be higher.”
In a release, the administration said “town leaders will be able to start the reimbursement process at applicant briefings, which will be announced in the coming days by Vermont Emergency Management.”
“The briefings will outline the requirements for receiving federal awards and maximizing eligibility of repairs,” according to the administration. “Vermont Emergency Management, Agency of Transportation district personnel, and FEMA will guide town officials through the application process.”