On November 6, 2019

State seeks FEMA assistance from Halloween storm


The Federal Emergency Management Agency visited Vermont Tuesday Nov. 5 to assess damage from floods and winds on Nov. 1. Vermont Emergency Management Director Erica Bornemann has requested the Preliminary Damage Assessment to determine if the state qualifies for a federal major disaster declaration following the storm.

Teams from the state and FEMA will visit communities in Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, and Washington counties beginning Tuesday.

Vermont officials have initially identified more than $3 million in damages to public infrastructure around the state and assessments are ongoing. To qualify for a declaration Vermont must show at least $1 million in response and public infrastructure recovery costs.  Individual counties must also show public infrastructure damages and recovery costs of $3.78 per capita, which includes restoration expenses for public utilities.  FEMA must verify the damage before the governor can request a disaster declaration.

A public assistance disaster declaration allows communities in declared counties to receive 75% reimbursement from the federal government for recovery costs associated with the storm. Eligible reimbursement costs include repair work on public roads and buildings, tree and debris removal from public rights of way, municipal employee time spent working on recovery, contractor help, equipment rentals, and other costs associated with the storm.

The assessment teams keep moving throughout the day so a detailed schedule of where they will be and when is difficult. Media wishing to follow a team can contact Mark Bosma at 802-839-6717 to coordinate coverage with a team.

Individual homeowners should report damage to their insurance company and to Vermont 2-1-1 for tracking purposes.  For homeowner’s insurance questions or assistance contact the Vermont Divisions of Financial Regulation insurance division at 800-964-1784.

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