Working in Washington for Ice Storm FEMA Funding

Working in Washington for Ice Storm FEMA Funding

Vermont's congressional delegation supports bringing federal money to the state to help cleanup efforts.

Vermont’s congressional delegation says they will work for Vermont when it comes to securing federal funding from FEMA to help offset costs associated with the recent ice storm.

When tropical storm Irene hit Vermont in 2011, FEMA helped the state recover by providing about a half a billion dollars.

And that took a lot of work by Vermont’s congressional delegation.

“Irene occupied an enormous amount of our staff time,” Senator Bernie Sanders said.

“I mean dealing with federal bureaucracy, dealing with FEMA.”

Following the recent ice storm state officials are still figuring out how much cleanup cost.

Vermont’s congressional team says whatever it is they plan on going to bat again for Vermonters

“The damage is severe but not as extensive. So it is not Irene but on the other hand for the people who have been directly affected it is Irene,” Representative Peter Welch said.

In a letter to FEMA, Vermont officials say more than 75,000 people were without power at the height of the storm.

But the state is seeking public assistance funding, which would help things like debris removal and road repair, not homeowners.

“Certainly the amount is a tiny fraction of what Irene was but if the state can make the case that they're eligible I’m sure the delegation will be strongly supportive,” Sen. Sanders said.

Sanders, Welch and Leahy say they can help by making the case to the people who have the power to send money to Vermont.

“Just bang on the door at the Whitehouse,” Rep. Welch said.

“I think it's time for Vermont to make certain that whatever FEMA funds are available are sent here to help out Vermonters.”

Vermont officials expect to tour damage caused by the ice storm on January 2nd with FEMA officials.

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