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Hurricane Irene Updates

Message From Congressman Peter Welch September 7, 2011 Welch sent a letter to all 435 members of the House of Representatives asking for their support in ensuring disaster assistance is available to states that need it. Attached to the letter was a 17-page presentation depicting the devastation inflicted by Irene on Vermont. (Welch’s letter and presentation is available below.)

Welch made Vermont’s case to House Democrats at a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus Welch chaired a bipartisan meeting, organized of 48 House Members and staff from districts harmed by Irene’s path of destruction. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Deputy Administrator Richard Serino participated in the meeting as well as White House staff The White House indicated that the damage caused by Irene will total $1.5 billion.

Read Welch’s Full Statement: Welch outlines effort in House to ensure Irene recovery assistance To View Presentation: Tropical Storm Irene Presentation ___________________________________________________________________ Assistance on Reporting Damages September 9, 2011

Agency of Commerce and Community Development Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development Attached is some information for individuals, businesses, travelers and communities and where to go for assistance and to report damages. Our home page ( and has other resources as well and we are trying to update regularly as info becomes available. We thought these resources might be helpful to you. Sincerely, Noelle MacKay, Commissioner Agency of Commerce and Community Development Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development For More Information On:

____________________________________________________________________________________ Rental Resources – Notifications of available private rental units September 11, 2011 ACCD ACCD is working with the housing unit of FEMA to identify “rental resources.”  We have provided them with the Directory of Affordable Rental Housing and many other sources but encourage anyone who is a aware of available private units to call them into FEMA. To help FEMA identify temporary housing options for displaced Vermonters, please notify it of available private rental units by calling 1-866-330-5286 or faxing the information to 540-686-4467.  (FEMA has been provided information on all vacancies in state and federally-supported housing.)  Let them know you want to provide “rental resources” and give the following information.

  1. – Address including street name, county, state.

  2. – Name of owner

  3. – Contact phone number for owner

  4. – # of units

  5. – # of bedrooms

  6. – Amount of rent

  7. – Utilities provided (all, none, cable, trash pick up, water/sewer, electic, gas, heating oil.)

____________________________________________________________________________ Updates from VHFA New Portal of Vermont Rental Vacancy Lists September 12, 2011 In response to the need for temporary and long-term housing after Tropical Storm Irene, we’ve added a new feature to the Vermont Housing Data website to help residents quickly view on-line lists of apartments for rent across the state.  The new “portal”, accessible directly from the housing data site’s home page, provides links to lists of vacancies from:

  1. –       Vermont Directory of Affordable Rental Housing

  2. –       FEMA’s Housing Portal

  3. –       VT Exchange (free resources including housing for those suffering storm damage)

  4. –       Craig’s List

  5. –

  6. –       On-line rental classified advertisements in 15 Vermont newspapers

Owners or managers with apartments to rent that are in publicly subsidized buildings are encouraged to use the Vermont Directory of Affordable Rental Housing to post new vacancies and to remove those filled.   Other apartments can be listed free of charge through the FEMA Housing PortalVT Exchange, or Craig’s List. FEMA Public Assistance Applicant Briefings Begin Today September 9, 2011 The Vermont Agency of Transportation will be holding applicant briefings for Vermont communities in counties granted a Public Assistance disaster declaration following floods from Tropical Storm Irene.   All Vermont counties received this declaration, with the exception of Grand Isle County. Attendance at this meeting for organizations applying for FEMA public assistance funding.    Attendees will learn how to apply for federal reimbursement for flood response and recovery costs for eligible public infrastructure such as debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain non-profit organizations.  Applicants may attend the briefing meeting closest to their location. Link to Briefing Schedule Five FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers now  open across the state September 8, 2011 The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has opened five disaster recovery centers across the state.  Centers are located in Killington, Dover, Barre, Brattleboro, and Waterbury.  More locations are expected to open soon. These centers will help Vermonters identify benefits, grants, and low-interest loans that are available to help families recover from the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Irene.

Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA) staff are also at the Barre, Brattleboro, and Waterbury centers providing information and taking applications for Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher assistance for income eligible families displaced as a result of Hurricane Irene.  VSHA has asked HUD for waivers to provide this assistance. For more information, contact Kathleen Berk, VSHA, 802-828-3019.

Read More About FEMA centers _____________________________________________________________ Vermont Public Radio to Hold Fundraiser for Irene Recovery September 13, 2011

In response to the statewide devastation caused by Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont Public Radio will hold a special one-day fundraiser on Tuesday, September 13, to help affected communities rebuild and recover from this natural disaster. Donations received from listeners will benefit the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund. VPR – Full Article ___________________________________________________________ 3SquaresVT Recipients Eligible for Extra Benefits to Replace Food Lost During Tropical Storm Irene September 8, 2011

Reneé Richardson , DCF Food and Nutrition Programs Director, (802) 279-3898 Waterbury, VT—Vermont households that received 3SquaresVT benefits (food stamps) in August of 2011 and then lost food during Tropical Storm Irene — either because their homes were flooded or they lost power for four or more hours — are eligible to receive extra benefits to help replenish their food supplies. How much extra help households can get depends on the value of the food lost and the amount of the 3SquaresVT benefit received in August. The deadline for requesting a replacement benefit related to Tropical Storm Irene is September 17, 2011.

For Information on How to Request Benefits: 3 Squares Full Article Vermonters interested in learning more about 3SquaresVT can visit the department’s website at or Seniors can also call the Senior Helpline at 1-800-642-5119. ______________________________________________________________ Message from the Health Commissioner on Irene

Department of Health Resources from Commissioner Harry Chen September 8, 2011 Given the extraordinary effects of Irene on our state, my job is to prevent a catastrophic environmental disaster from becoming a public health disaster. I would normally rely on the media and the Internet to get the word out but it is clear that those most affected may not have access to those luxuries. I have pushed the information out to town health officers, local district health offices and directly to the communities receiving the National Guard commodity deliveries. I am hoping that this information may be helpful to you as you get out into the affected communities. There is a wealth of information available on our website ( but I want to connect you to highlights. As you might expect we are working on several other areas (dust and air quality) so please do check our website for regular updates:

_____________________________________________________________________ Vermont Flood Relief Guides Posted on Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 by Michael

  1. –

  2. – Seven Days:

  3. – Google-VTrans Road Conditions Map:

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