The lowly culvert got a lot of attention in
the Statehouse on Wednesday. The issue is whether the federal
government will help towns pay to build bigger bridges and culverts to replace those
destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene.
A stream crossing in Townshend
is the test culvert for building back town infrastructure in a more resilient
fashion after the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene. The Federal Emergency
Management Agency says it won’t pay for larger culverts like the one in
Townshend that the state says are needed to withstand future floods. FEMA says
the state is applying inconsistent standards.
Federal officials say they’ll help put in culverts larger than the pipes that
were washed out during the floods of Tropical Storm Irene. A special FEMA mitigation program will help put in
facilities that might hold up better in a future flood.