Lt. Gov. Phil Scott visits flood-damaged areas, offers resources for Vermonters

August 30, 2011 -- Lt. Governor Phil Scott has spent the last two days in flood-damaged areas across Central and Southern Vermont, and the damage he has observed is “devastating.”

Yesterday, Scott joined Transportation Secretary Brian Searles and Windsor County Senator John Campbell, traveling through Quechee, Taftsville and Woodstock by car. Today, he joined Governor Peter Shumlin and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on an aerial tour of Ludlow, Wilmington and Brattleboro. Tomorrow, he plans a driving tour of the Rutland area, which was particularly hard hit. And this morning, Scott observed flood damage from the driver’s seat of a bulldozer, joining his employees at his excavation company, DuBois Construction, working to repair damage to Muzzy Road in Berlin.

“From all vantage points, the impact is devastating,” Scott said.

“We’ve all seen the incredible pictures of bridges and roads washed away and homes collapsed. As the reports keep coming in, I’ve also been struck by how many aspects of our everyday lives this disaster has impacted, that we may not even think about. A group of dialysis patients in Rochester had to be evacuated to area hospitals this morning to receive their treatments. Dairy coops across the state aren’t able to get to farms for their milk pickups. Schools remain closed, and hundreds of businesses can’t reopen for the foreseeable future. These are the difficulties that could extend this disaster.”

Scott emphasized that the hard work of emergency officials and local first-response crews – many of whom are volunteer – has minimized the loss of life and injury to-date. Now, state officials will face the equally tough challenge of rebuilding the state’s infrastructure and continuing to provide essential services in the interim.

“But first, the state has to finish cataloging the extent of the damage. Homeowners and business owners will be doing the same, so I’d like to pass along some important information and resources.”

--Any home or business owner who has sustained damage should call 211 to report it. This will help the state document the amount of damage and secure adequate federal disaster aid.

 

--Reporting damage to 211, however, is not the same as registering for federal disaster aid. If the state does receive a disaster declaration, property owners will have to register separately with FEMA. Stay tuned for more information. You can also call FEMA at  1-800-621-3362, or learn more online at  www.fema.gov/assistance/index.shtm

 

--Take pictures of your damage before making any repairs or throwing away damaged items. Insurance companies and FEMA assistance, if it becomes available, usually requires evidence of damage.

 

--If you end up purchasing replacement items, keep all receipts. Costs may be reimbursed by insurance or aid programs.

 

--If you find a fuel tank on your property or floating in flood waters, please contact the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association at 802-223-7750 or info@vermontfuel.com.

 

-- For information on cleaning up your home, visit: http://vem.vermont.gov/home/return

 

-- For information on assistance for businesses, call this referral number at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development: 802-828-3211.

 

###