Preliminary storm-damage assessment begins

State officials have begun their work to assess storm damage from last week’s high winds and rain in order to determine whether the state qualifies for federal assistance and a disaster declaration.

Vermont Emergency Management, the Vermont Agency of Transportation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other partners were to begin that evaluation Wednesday.

Vermont officials have identified more than $4.5 million in public infrastructure damage resulting from the storm. To qualify for a disaster declaration, FEMA must verify at least $1 million in public infrastructure damage and response costs, and individual counties must show $3.68 per capita to qualify. Those numbers include restoration costs for public utilities, according to the Vermont emergency management officials.

Assessments will be done in Addison, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Washington, and Windham counties. All Vermont towns that incurred costs are encouraged to report those figures to Regional Planning Commissions to ensure counties qualify.

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