Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Prompt Disaster Designation, Approved Today By President Obama,

WASHINGTON, June 13 – The President’s prompt declaration today of a major disaster associated with severe storms in May will help speed Vermont communities’ recovery, said Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch. 

On Thursday, President Obama signed a disaster declaration for the State of Vermont, requested just days ago by Governor Peter Shumlin, and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and flooding last month during the period of May 22 through May 26.

In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said:   “We hope that this is Vermont’s only Major Disaster this year.  This federal assistance is greatly needed in areas where roads were washed out.  We thank Governor Shumlin for moving quickly to make the request and President Obama for promptly acting on it.”

Up to eight inches of rain and a more than a foot of snow fell in parts of Vermont during the severe storms.  Altogether, 30 state and local bridges were closed and power was knocked out for 12,000 customers.

Because of the declaration, federal funding is now available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and flooding in the counties of Chittenden, Essex and Lamoille.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Last week, Leahy, Sanders and Welch sent a letter to the President urging him to support Governor Peter Shumlin’s request for disaster assistance in the wake of the damaging storms.