Vt. requests disaster declaration for December winter storm

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 11:34 AM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has made a formal request for federal disaster funds for last Christmas’ winter storm.

The request seeks help for communities and public utilities to recover costs for repairs and power restoration and covers Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, and Washington Counties.

The request says rain and melting snow, flooding some roads, and that record high winds caused 75,000 power outages statewide.

Vermont Emergency Management Director Erica Bornemann said the federal assistance ensures ratepayers don take the brunt of storm costs. “The cost to restore power for eligible utilities was well over and above what they budget for storm response. So, in order to ensure ratepayers for these utilities aren’t hit with an exorbitant rate hike then -- that’s why this funding is very very helpful and very necessary,” she said.

FEMA recently identified nearly $3 million in program-eligible costs, far exceeding the $1.14 million threshold for federal assistance.

New Hampshire also recently applied for up to $3 million in disaster funding from the same storm.

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