Saturday, September 17, 2011

Number of displaced Vermont families may be double

Sally Pollak in the Burlington Free Press (Vermont): Gov. Peter Shumlin said 1,500 to 2,000 Vermont families might have been displaced from their homes by the damage wrought by Tropical Storm Irene. Shumlin said Friday he’s concerned the actual number of families unable to live in their own homes because of the flood is unknown.

“We’re putting together a plan where we’re going to be reaching out once again to community leaders to literally go out and talk and count and find where people are,” Shumlin said. “It’s one of the gaps we have in the system right now.” The governor said he wouldn’t be surprised “in the least” if the number turned out be as many as 2,000 families. Preliminary federal estimates suggested 700 homes were damaged or destroyed by last month’s flooding.

Shumlin said he meets Vermonters every day who are staying with relatives, neighbors and even strangers. These people don’t appear on the government’s lists because “they feel like they have a home,” Shumlin said.

Referring to people in these kinds of temporary living arrangements, who have not classified themselves as displaced or homeless, the governor said: “There are people who may well find, in a couple of months, that their current housing situation is not ideal — for either the host or for them.”...

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