Vermont Governor asks Biden for disaster relief after flooding

By Peyton Benbow

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott asked President Joe Biden to declare the flooding damages in his state a major disaster, which would incur disaster relief across counties. The disaster request, filed on Feb. 14, described the heavy rainfall caused by a coastal storm. The state was unprepared to be hit with disastrous flooding: they are currently recovering from historic storms last summer.

In a press release filed Tuesday, Governor Scott noted that if Biden declared a major disaster declaration, the federal government would reimburse counties for up to 75% of rebuilding and repair costs. These costs are attributed to road repair and debris removal. The minimum amount needed for a federal major disaster declaration is $700k. The damage in Vermont well exceeds that bar at a $1.9 million assessment. 

The December flooding in Vermont is asking for federal assistance for acquired 1.5 to 3 inches of rainfall and high temperatures. The state experienced this coastal flooding after last summer’s storm incurred an unprecedented 3-9 inches of rain in two days. Governor Scott is asking for relief for major counties in Vermont that qualify for federal reimbursement. 

The formal request by Governor Scott was sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, who will present the letter to Biden.