Vermont Requests Federal Disaster Declaration
Montpelier, Vt.—Governor Phil Scott has requested a Major Disaster Declaration from President Trump to acquire federal funds to assist six Vermont counties in repairing public infrastructure damaged in floods on April 15, 2019. Communities and public entities in Bennington, Essex, Orange, Rutland, Washington and Windsor counties sustained damage exceeding the minimum threshold for federal disaster assistance eligibility.
A Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) by the State of Vermont and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) validated more than $2 million in public infrastructure damage statewide, far exceeding the $1 million statewide minimum required for Major Disaster Declaration consideration. Each of the six counties in the declaration request also exceeded the $3.78 county per capita threshold to qualify communities and public entities for assistance.
“This was a destructive event and it will be tough for these towns to recover,” Governor Scott said. “Emergency responders did an outstanding job protecting the public from harm during the floods, and road crews have worked hard since then to rebuild. Recovery has been and will continue to be long and expensive, so communities are very much in need of federal assistance.”
If approved, the declaration provides a 75% federal reimbursement to communities for storm response and recovery, including repairs to public roads, bridges and utilities; debris clean-up; and other infrastructure repairs.
FEMA will review Governor Scott’s request and make a recommendation to the President, who ultimately approves or denies the request.
The declaration request also seeks funds from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). This federal program grants funding based on a formula of 15% of the total federal public assistance. Those funds provide a 75% reimbursement for any state projects that reduce the likelihood of damage to public infrastructure in future disasters.