November 20, 2017

FEMA in Vermont to assess storm damage

By Mike Polhamus

For VTDigger

Federal Emergency Management Agency staff is visiting Vermont this week to verify state damage assessments that indicate Vermont sustained around $4.5 million in infrastructure damage from an Oct. 30 windstorm.

For Vermont to receive disaster funding from the federal government, at least $1 million in damage statewide must be verified by the agency, according to Mark Bosma, the public information officer for Vermont Emergency Management.

Cleanup and repairs have already been completed for the most part, Bosma said. Money from the federal agency would be used to reimburse towns, utilities and contractors for the work. Eligible costs include repairs to public roads and buildings, tree and debris removal from public rights-of-way and other costs incurred by towns, utilities and the state.

Federal disaster declarations aren’t automatic, even when storm damage is severe, Bosma said.

“With this much damage, I would hope it would get to that level where we get a federal disaster declaration,” he said.

Federal disaster assistance is awarded to individual counties, Bosma said.

Inspectors from FEMA this week will assess damage claims from Addison, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Washington and Windham counties.

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