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July 11, 2017

VEM Release: FEMA Damage Assessment Begins Wednesday

Vermont Department of Public Safety

Division of Emergency Management

July 11, 2017

1:00 p.m.



Mark Bosma, VEM, 802-839-6717


Bennington Added to Preliminary Damage Assessment/

FEMA Begins Assessing Vermont Damage Wednesday


WATERBURY – Bennington County has been added to the FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) request after Vermont Officials identified additional damage this week.  The PDA will be conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) beginning on Wednesday afternoon.


Rain storms and resulting floods washed out roads and damaged other public infrastructure in several Vermont towns from June 29 – July 1.  The state has identified more than $6-million in public infrastructure damage, far exceeding the $1-million threshold Vermont must show to be considered for a major disaster declaration.  Bennington joins Addison, Caledonia, Orange, Rutland, and Windsor counties in exceeding the county minimum of $3.61 per capita to qualify communities in those counties for aid.


FEMA staff will tour the six counties beginning on Wednesday with representatives of VEM, the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Regional Planning Commissions, and individual towns to verify damage estimates. 


Groups will likely be in the field in the early afternoon.  Exactly where they will start has not yet been determined, so the press should contact Mark Bosma, Vermont Emergency Management Public Information Officer, at 800-347-0488, or Diego Alvarado, FEMA Public Affairs, at 202-384-5312 on Wednesday to locate a team.


Please note that not all towns with damage need to be visited to qualify for assistance.  FEMA needs to verify enough damage statewide and countywide for a possible Public Assistance disaster declaration, and towns will apply for assistance later.


If indicator thresholds are verified, Gov. Phil Scott would forward a formal request for a declaration to President Donald Trump.  Once submitted, FEMA will review the request and make a recommendation to the President on whether or not a declaration should be signed.


Under a PA disaster declaration, communities would be eligible for 75% reimbursement for response and recovery costs.  Those costs include repairs to local roads, public buildings, other municipal assets, and certain costs related to response.



Mark Bosma

Public Information Officer

Vermont Emergency Management

(802) 839-6717