Vermont governor seeks disaster declaration for December flooding

Published: 02-20-2024 2:54 PM

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gov. Phil Scott announced Monday that he has requested a federal major disaster declaration to help communities hit by severe rainfall and flooding in December.

Such a declaration would allow municipalities to be reimbursed for 75% of eligible costs, such as debris removal, road and public building repairs, and staff overtime related to cleanup from the storm, Scott said.

“As Vermont continues to recover from last year’s flooding events, it is clear more federal support will be needed to help communities rebuild,” Scott said in a statement. “As we do so, it will be critical to make improvements to ensure greater resilience to future severe weather events, that we know will become increasingly common.”

The storm that hit the Northeastern U.S. on Dec. 18 and 19 flooded roads and downed trees, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands, forced flight cancellations and school closures, and killed at least five people.

In Vermont, federal assessors identified more than $1.9 million in costs incurred by public entities for repairs to public infrastructure, Scott said. Also, storm-related costs in five counties exceeded the minimum per capita amount to qualify for aid, he said.

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