(Host) The Federal Emergency Management Agency has completed its preliminary damage assessment for public roads, highways and other facilities.
And today, FEMA will begin to assess how much damage there was to private homes and businesses – and whether they’ll qualify for federal assistance.
VPR’s Ric Cengeri reports.
(Cengeri) FEMA investigators will be looking at damage caused by the recent flooding to private property in eight counties across northern Vermont.
FEMA assistance usually goes for repairing public property. The last time there was an "individual assistance declaration" in Vermont to help private property owners was in 2002.
Lauren Pawlik of FEMA says that at that time, the average FEMA check to individuals was $1,800.
(Pawlik) "The Individual Assistance program is really more designed to help people get their primary dwelling to be habitable again and there are also hazard mitigation grants available."
(Cengeri) While it’s been nine years since the last time individuals got federal help, flood disasters for public property in Vermont have been fairly common. Kari Dolan is the state coordinator for the National Flood Insurance Program.
(Dolan) "Flood recovery in Vermont is an expensive endeavor. I think in the last 20 years, we’ve had 21 federally declared disasters. It has cost us on the order of $148 million to recover from these floods. And yet when we’ve studied the five major floods of the 1990s, we discovered that 70 percent of the damages were related to the erosion hazards, not necessarily just inundation."
(Cengeri) When the damage assessment numbers have been compiled, FEMA agents plan to assist state agencies in making their final recommendation to Governor Shumlin on whether or not there is a need for federal disaster assistance.
For VPR News, I’m Ric Cengeri.