Federal declaration to bring flood aid to Addison County

ADDISON COUNTY — The federal government last week responded to pressure from Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont’s congressional delegation, granting a Major Federal Disaster Declaration to seven Vermont counties, including Addison, affected by this spring’s record-breaking floods.

The declaration, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced this past Wednesday, will allow residents and business owners affected by the flooding to apply for federal aid and low-interest loans to rebuild and repair damaged property.

The declaration will also free up funds to assist towns with the rebuilding of public infrastructure like roads and bridges. Municipalities will be eligible for 75 percent reimbursement of their recovery costs.

In addition to Addison County, FEMA extended the disaster declaration to Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille and Orleans counties for the storms that began on April 23.

A Thursday press release from the governor’s office said the state is still seeking a disaster declaration for Washington, Caledonia and Windham counties, and that those cases are still under review.

“This is good news for Vermont,” said Shumlin. “While not the full request we sought, this assistance, in combination with other federal and state loan and grant options, will go a long way toward helping Vermont recover from this flooding crisis.”

Shumlin also thanked Rep. Peter Welch and Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders for their work in securing the disaster declaration.

“This much-needed assistance will help Vermonters get back on their feet after the devastating storms of the past two months,” said Rep. Peter Welch in a statement following last week’s announcement.

Reporter Andrea Suozzo is at andreas@addisonindependent.com.

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Addison County Independent

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