Its Work Nearly Done, FEMA Packs Up Vt. Field Office

Dec 11, 2013

FEMA plans to it close its field office in Vermont at the end of next week. The agency says most of its work on the recovery from Tropical Storm Irene has been completed.

FEMA first set up a field office in the state months before Irene, in the spring of 2011 after severe storms flooded areas along Lake Champlain and across northern Vermont.

In the more than two years since Tropical Storm Irene hit the agency alone spent about $250 million in the state.

In the immediate aftermath of the flood FEMA funding went to help people repair homes, replace personal property and pay for rental housing. The agency also paid for road and bridge repair and to cover the cost of rescue operations.

FEMA has obligated more $13 million to buy properties that were destroyed by the flood. Funding also went to disaster case management, legal services and crisis counseling.

FEMA spokesman David Mace said the agency worked as hard as it could to provide the maximum amount of assistance that was allowed under federal law.

“As we transition the majority of the work back to the regional office in Boston,” said Mace, “I think, hopefully we’ll be remembered for the partnership that we engaged in with the state and with municipalities and others to bring Vermont back to, not exactly a pre-Irene condition, but at least to get it back on its feet and moving in the right direction.”

Mace said about a handful of FEMA staffers will remain in the state to finish up administrative paperwork.