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FEMA Meets with Towns as More Rain Nears

With more rain on the way, emergency managers and town leaders find themselves stretched thin. Today they had one eye on the future and one eye on the past.

With more rain on the way, emergency managers and town leaders find themselves stretched thin. Today they had one eye on the future and one eye on the past.

Northern Vermont suffered $1.5 million in damage during May's flash flooding.

Thanks to a federal disaster declaration, impacted towns can now obtain Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to cover some of the costs.

At a briefing Thursday FEMA officials did their best to streamline the funding process for affected communities.

FEMA's Mark Landy says, "I hate to say it, but business is very, very good in the emergency management world."

By that he means most of the 14-represented communities have responded to several flood events recently, and they fear more are coming.

Landy, a Federal Coordinating Officer, said "there are emergency responders in the room right now, along with others, who are already positioning, they've already had conference calls with the state. We've been invited to the emergency operations center."

That Emergency Operations Center opened Thursday to monitor renewed rainfall.

With any new flood damage that develops, it becomes harder to sort out which damage is linked to which flood event- an important part of obtaining disaster funding.

"We have to manage it by timeframes, and it really is just a constant dialogue between the applicant, between the state, and with FEMA," Landry says.

Private damage is not eligible for federal disaster funding.

Public damage, like roads, will be covered 75% by the federal government, 12.5% by the state, and 12.5% by each town.

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