Washington, DC -- Federal disaster aid was made available today to help communities in six Vermont counties recover from the effects of severe storms that struck the southern part of the state earlier this month, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said President Clinton authorized the assistance under a major disaster declaration issued for the state late this afternoon. The declaration covers damage to public property from the storms and flooding that occurred over the period of July 14-18.
Under the declaration, federal funds will be provided for the state and affected local governments to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost for restoring damaged public facilities in the counties of Addison, Bennington, Orange, Rutland, 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 the aid following the declaration, indicated that additional forms of assistance may be made available later if requested and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He named A. David Rodham of FEMA to serve as the federal coordinating officer for the recovery effort.
Rodham 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.