Appended below please find the following additional disaster relief information and updates:
- Message from Governor Shumlin
- Message from Senator Leahy
- Message from Senator Sanders – Register for FEMA Benefits
- Message from President Pro-Tem (Vermont State Senate)
- Storm Related Information for VHFA Mortgage Holders
- News Update: Waterbury State Office
- Report Fuel Tanks & Spills
- How to Help Vermont
Message From Governor Shumlin
Gov. Shumlin outlines programs to help homeowners impacted by Tropical Storm Irene
September 6, 2011
MORETOWN – Gov. Peter Shumlin, appearing with Vermonters who lost their homes in flooding created by Tropical Storm Irene, today outlined the various federal and state programs designed to get properties repaired and rebuilt as quickly as possible.
“It’s been just over a week since the storm hit, and I have talked to hundreds people across the state whose lives have been turned upside down. Their homes, and in some cases their land, have been damaged or destroyed completely,” Gov. Shumlin said. “We are moving quickly to get them assistance for repairs and replacement, as well as temporary housing.”
As of today, FEMA has approved $4.3 million in assistance — $4.2 million in housing assistance and $165,228 for other needs such as replacement of personal property. More than 2,000 Vermonters have registered for assistance, a number that will increase. To date there have been just over 700 homes confirmed as severely damaged or destroyed, and assessments continue.
There are 30 inspectors in the field and 750 property inspections have been completed. In addition, three disaster recovery centers are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day until further notice: in Barre at Barre Municipal Auditorium, 16 Auditorium Hill; in Brattleboro at Living Memorial Park Skating Rink, 61 Memorial Park Drive; and in Waterbury at the Waterbury Fire Department, 43 South Main Street. The recovery centers are staffed with disaster recovery specialists from various federal, state and local agencies and organizations who can provide information and answer questions about storm-related assistance. Additional centers will be opening soon.
The White House has approved individual assistance for homeowners and businesses in eight counties: Addison, Chittenden, Orange, Bennington, Washington, Rutland, Windham and Windsor.
Assistance for losses sustained anytime after the storm may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help recover from the effects of the disaster. Even those with insurance may be eligible for help from FEMA if their insurance policy does not cover all their needs, FEMA said.
Step 1: Register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There are several ways to register:
Apply online anytime at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
Call 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY at 800-462-7585. Those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. Multilingual operators are available to assist with the application process.
By smartphone or tablet, use http://m.fema.gov/, or for devices with the Android operating system, a FEMA App can be downloaded at http://market.android.com/details?id=gov.fema.mobile.android.
When applying for aid you will receive a nine-digit registration number that can be used for reference when corresponding with FEMA.
It is helpful to have the following information handy:
- Current telephone number;
- Address at the time of the disaster and current address;
- Social Security number, if available;
- A general list of damages and losses;
- If insured, the name of insurance company, agent and policy number; and
- Bank routing number for any direct deposit.
Step 2: Receive a property inspection.
Within a few days after registering, eligible applicants will be telephoned to make an appointment to have their damaged property inspected. The inspectors, who are FEMA contractors and carry identification badges, visit to make a record of damage. They do not make a determination regarding assistance. There is no cost for the inspection.
Step 3: All applicants will receive a letter from FEMA regarding the status of their requests for federal assistance. Some will also receive an application for a low-interest disaster recovery loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Anyone who has questions about the letter from FEMA should call the helpline (800-621-3362 or TTY, 800-462-7585).
Those who receive an application packet from the SBA should complete and submit the forms. No one is required to accept a loan but submitting the application may open the door to additional FEMA grants.
An additional resource for those whose homes have been damaged is their local Homeownership Centers. These centers are funded, in part, with Community Development Block Grant funds from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. They make low or deferred interest loans for home repairs and can help pay for damages that are not covered by insurance, FEMA or SBA disaster loans.
Renters who have been displaced can contact the organizations listed above, local housing nonprofits, housing authorities or search for available apartments on www.housingdata.org, or by contacting:
- Central Vermont Community Land Trust HOC – 802-476-4493 or www.cvclt.org
- HOC of Chittenden County – 802-862-6244 or www.getahome.org
- Gilman Housing Trust HOC – 802-535-3445 or www.nekhome.org
- NeighborWorks of Western Vermont – 802-438-2303 or www.nwwvt.org
- Windham and Windsor Housing Trust HOC – 802-246-2109 or http://www.w-wht.org/homeownership-center/
In addition, The Department of Banking, Insurance, Health Care and Securities is available to assist with questions related to floor insurance at http://www.bishca.state.vt.us/insurance/insurance-consumer/vermont-flood-information or (800) 964-1784 in state or (802) 828-3302.
In response to the storm, the ACCD is:
Creating a Housing Task Force, headed by Jennifer Hollar, Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development to work with VEM and FEMA to develop a housing recovery plan and guide its implementation.
Working with our fellow housing agencies, Vermont Emergency Management and FEMA to identify vacant apartments that could be available for temporary housing.
Requesting a waiver from the Treasury Department that would make vacant apartments in many federally-supported properties available to any displaced Vermonter regardless of income.
Seeking additional housing and development resources in the form of block grants and Section 8 vouchers from HUD, in coordination with the congressional delegation.
Establishing a Housing Task Force of state agencies and federal and local partners to work with FEMA to develop a housing recovery plan and to guide its implementation.
Running a call-center at the Agency of Commerce to collect damage information from mobile home park and apartment owners at 802-828-3211 to provide to FEMA.
Accompanying FEMA today as they tour impacted areas and assess housing needs. Senior ACCD officials are traveling with FEMA today.
Reaching out to the private sector and the philanthropic community to help fill the gaps.
Message From Senator Leahy
Flooding caused by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene inflicted historic damage across our state.
Vermont Recovery Flood Guide
Even in these trying times Vermonters are pitching in and taking care of one another, neighbors helping neighbors, and communities coming together to help the many in need. Now as we see the flood waters recede, the hard work of recovery is beginning. This enormous challenge is beyond the means of a small state like ours. I am fighting to make sure Vermonters find and receive the help they need. To do this I am working closely with federal agencies and the Obama Administration to make sure every federal resource is made available to Vermont as we begin the recovery process. In this Vermont Flood Recovery Resource Guide, I have compiled important information and key contacts to help flooded property owners, businesses, farmers, and renters. If you have any questions or need additional assistance, I encourage you to contact my office at 1-800-642-3193 or visit my website: www.leahy.senate.gov.
Message from Senator Bernie Sanders – Do You Need Help?
Register for FEMA Benefits to Help Rebuild After Hurricane Irene
September 6, 2011
Vermonters have seen their homes, businesses and farms suffer terrible damage in the wake of Hurricane Irene. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened three disaster recovery centers over the weekend in Barre, Brattleboro and Waterbury. FEMA hopes to have up to 10 locations throughout Vermont by the end of this week.
These FEMA centers will help Vermonters identify benefits, grants, and low-interest loans that are available to help families recover from the devastation caused by this natural disaster. “If you have been impacted by the hurricane, it makes all the sense in the world to contact FEMA,” Bernie said.
FEMA’s recovery centers are open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Before visiting the disaster recovery centers, you are encouraged to register with FEMA by calling 800-621-3362 or by registering online.
Visit a FEMA disaster recovery center near you »
Register with FEMA online »
Learn more about types of assistance that may be available for you »
Who is Eligible? At this point, individuals and businesses in Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor Counties may be eligible for FEMA grants and Small Business Administration loans. Additional counties may be added in the future. Certain businesses and nonprofits in Caledonia, Franklin, Grand Isle and Lamoille Counties may also be eligible for some SBA loans. [Note: Calling 2-1-1 does not register you for FEMA benefits]
Message From the President Pro-Tem, Vermont State Senate
John F. Campbell, Senate President Pro Tempore
September 5, 2011
Resources from the Agency of Natural Resources
Disposal of Flood Debris: The Agency of Natural Resources will be coordinating local hazardous waste in local communities through the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, Waste Management Division. Please forward your questions to (802) 241-3888
Guidelines for Instream Work: The Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) recognizes that recovery from this state-wide flood disaster will require extensive in-stream work. Rivers Program engineers will be helping Vermont communities by providing technical and problem-solving assistance. Conditions that existed prior to the flood may, in cases, not be desirable or even possible to recreate, but we will assist landowners, municipalities, and other agencies to accomplish the recovery goals while reducing vulnerability, loss, and public safety hazards during the next flood.
Information by County (cell phone numbers):
Todd Menees, P.E. – (802) 345-3510 (Southern VT – including Rutland, So.Windsor, Windham & Bennington Counties)
Barry Cahoon, P.E. - (802) 343-0217 (Northeast VT – including Essex, Caledonia & Orleans Counties; & backup for Windham & Bennington Counties)
Chris Brunelle - (802) 777-5328 (Northwest VT – including Franklin, Chittenden, Lamoille & Grand Isle counties & back up for Addison & Rutland Counties)
Patrick Ross, P.E. - (802) 279-1143 (Central VT – including Washington, Orange, No.Windsor, and Addison Counties)
Mike Kline - (802) 793-7617 (Rivers Program Manager)
State laws still apply: We are using emergency authority during this extreme situation. State laws governing stream alterations are not suspended during flood recovery. Particular in-stream practices will be regulated during this time and are listed above. Emergency in-stream work may proceed under emergency provisions set in statute and will be expedited under the Stream Alteration General Permit.
Efficiency Vermont Resources: Efficiency Vermont can provide advice on replacing damaged insulation and on how to address health and safety issues. In addition, Efficiency Vermont will have financial assistance available for heating and hot water systems, replacing insulation, air sealing, and finding a contractor as well as rebates on ENERGY STAR® dehumidifiers, refrigerators and clothes washers.
In addition to its regular business hours, Efficiency Vermont technical staff will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend at 888-921-5990 to provide technical assistance and to answer your questions. Efficiency Vermont is expecting high call volume, so if callers don’t reach someone immediately, please leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
Vermonters impacted by Irene can also visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/irene any time for more information on: Health and Safety, Reinsulating Walls and Air Sealing, Finding a Contractor, and Heating/Hot Water Assistance.
ENERGY STAR Appliance Rebates: Clothes Washers and Refrigerators: Efficiency Vermont currently offers a $50 mail-in rebate on select ENERGY STAR® clothes washers and refrigerators. You can also combine this rebate with a $50 instant in-store rebate funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ─ for a total rebate of $100.
Dehumidifiers: Efficiency Vermont also currently offers a $25 mail-in rebate on ENERGY STAR® qualified dehumidifiers
Storm Related Information for VHFA Mortgage Holders, Multifamily Properties, and Others.
September 2, 2011
The flooding and damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene has been immense. Below is a comprehensive list of resources available from various agencies as will as how to proceed if your home or housing property has been impacted:
For current VHFA homeowners affected by flooding or other storm related damages, please contact VHFA by telephone 802-864-5743 or toll-free at 800-339-5866. You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For multifamily housing owners or managers affected by flooding or other storm related damages, please contact VHFA by telephone 802-864-5743 or toll-free at 800-339-5866. You may also email email@example.com.
From FEMA: 4 Counties have been Presidentially Declared for FEMA Individual Assistance. These counties include: Washington, Rutland, Windsor & Chittenden. Residents in these counties who were impacted by Irene can now register for FEMA assistance online or by phone 1-800-621-3362. More counties pending further preliminary damage assessment.
Assisted multifamily housing projects that have vacancies should update their information at www.housingdata.org/doarh where managers can log in and report any available units. This information is helpful not only to displaced Vermonters locally, but is also being reported to HUD along with other states’ vacant units to ensure efficient utilization of these units. If you have any trouble logging in, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Waterbury State Offices Could Be Closed Four Months
VT Digger, September 2, 2011
Parts of the Waterbury State Office Complex could be uninhabitable for at least four months, and perhaps significantly longer, state officials say, and the Shumlin administrations is figuring out how to put the 1,586 employees assigned to Waterbury back to work. Flooding from Tropical Storm Irene caused extensive damage to the 500,000-plus square foot facility complex, which is comprised of separate brick structures. Gas-and-sewage-laced mud is everywhere. The tunnel system was filled with water and muck.
Reporting Fuel Tanks and Spills
Some of the damaged parks had above ground fuel tanks and propane tanks washed away or tipped over, or underground tanks flooded.
The number to call to report fuel tanks and spills is 1-800-641-5005.
How to Help Vermont
Volunteer Contact Information
Sarah Waterman at VTResponse.com is a great contact to provide volunteer or food needs to for any mobile home / affordable housing sites. She’s been doing yeowoman’s work getting vols in touch with folks in need.
cell: (802) 922-4202
Burlington Free Press Article: How to Help Victims of Irene
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The Vermont Community Foundation
We Help People Give To The Causes They Love
Helping Non-Profits with Irene Recovery