Addison County may get FEMA funds for storm damage

MIDDLEBURY Gov. Jim Douglas has officially requested a U.S. Federal Disaster Declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following heavy rain storms that hit Vermont over a three-week period. Assessors have determined the extent of damages in the state fall within federal guidelines for a disaster declaration. The request is for declarations in Addison, Caledonia, Essex, Lamoille, Orange, Washington, and Windsor Counties. These areas all suffered damage due to rain storms and flooding between July 21 and Aug. 12 that amounted to more than $1.6 million dollars. If the disaster declaration is granted, these counties would receive federal funds to repair public infrastructure damage; those funds would provide 75 percent of all costs to repair roads, bridges, public buildings, and other state and municipal holdings. The declaration request covers a three-week period because most of the rain storms were part of one weather system, according to the National Weather Service, and saturated soils caused by the continuing summer rains contributed to a great deal of flooding that may have otherwise been avoided. There is no timetable on when FEMA will make a determination on the request. Grand Isle and Lamoille Counties recently received disaster declarations for damages suffered during heavy rains and strong winds on July 18.

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