Vermont Requests Federal Damage Assessment
Vermont requests federal damage assessment for severe storm damage - Step toward requesting federal disaster declaration
WATERBURY, VT – Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) Director Erica Bornemann has requested a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine if the state qualifies for a federal Public Assistance disaster declaration following severe storms on May 4. The request asks for assessments in Chittenden, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, and Washington counties. Additional counties could be added as more damage is tallied.
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 $3.68 per capita, which includes restoration costs for public utilities. Preliminary estimates by the state indicate Vermont will exceed the $1-million threshold. FEMA must verify the damage before the Governor can request a disaster declaration.
“In most cases the storm was quick but extremely impactful; our initial assessment found many communities with public infrastructure damage and municipal utilities with hefty power restoration costs.” Vermont Emergency Management Director Erica Bornemann said. “Regional Planning Commissions have been reaching out to towns for damage estimates, and it’s important for communities to compile and report damage so we can make the strongest case possible for a federal disaster declaration.”
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 dates of assessments will be released once scheduled.
Individual homeowners should report damage to their insurance companies. For homeowners insurance questions or assistance contact the Vermont Divisions of Financial Regulation Insurance division at 800-964-1784.