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Governor Phil Scott Requests Major Disaster Declaration for December 2023 Flooding

February 20, 2024

Montpelier, Vt. - Governor Phil Scott has made a formal request to President Joe Biden for a Major Disaster Declaration to help communities in Essex, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Windham, and Windsor counties recover costs for repair of public infrastructure damage caused by rainfall and severe flooding on December 18 & 19, 2023.

“As Vermont continues to recover from last year’s flooding events, it is clear more federal support will be needed to help communities rebuild,” said Governor Scott. “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. My team is committed to working with federal and local partners to do this work.”

If granted, a federal Major Disaster Declaration unlocks Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance Program funding to reimburse municipalities for 75% of eligible costs like debris removal, road and public building repairs, and staff overtime responding to and cleaning up after the storm.

Federal assessors identified more than $1.9 million in costs incurred by public entities statewide for repairs to public infrastructure. This figure exceeds the minimum amount of program-eligible costs ($1.2 million) the state must show to qualify for a Public Assistance disaster declaration.

Storm-related costs in Essex, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Windham, and Windsor counties also exceeded the minimum per-capita amount they must show to qualify.

The declaration request also seeks funds from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). That funding can be used to provide 75% reimbursement for projects anywhere in the state that reduce the likelihood of damage to public infrastructure in future disasters.


The request was sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will review and then send to President Biden with a recommendation for a final decision.