WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid for Vermont was made available today to help communities in 10 counties recover from the effects of Tropical Storm Floyd.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said President Clinton authorized the assistance under a major disaster declaration issued for the state this afternoon. The declaration covers damage to public property from the storm that spawned heavy rains, high winds and flooding over the period of September 16-21.
Under the declaration, federal funds will be provided for the state and affected local governments to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities such as roads, bridges and utilities in the following counties: Bennington, Caledonia, Essex, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor. Funding also will be available to the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Witt, who designated the counties eligible for assistance following the declaration, indicated that additional counties may be designated later if requested and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named Justo Hernandez of FEMA to serve as the federal coordinating officer for the recovery effort.
Hernandez said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected areas.