Thursday, March 15, 2012

FEMA, Vermont to pay nearly $20 million for flooded properties, leave land undeveloped

The Republic (Indiana): Gov. Peter Shumlin and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch said on a visit Wednesday to a town hard hit by Tropical Storm Irene that plans to buy nearly $20 million worth of flood-prone property with state and federal money have gotten under way.

Flooding from the Aug. 28 storm took the lives of at least six people and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Irene is widely viewed as the worst natural disaster to hit Vermont since at least the flood of 1927.

The official visit Wednesday drew more than 60 people out in chilly temperatures to the Northfield firehouse. Shumlin told of one of the 13 Northfield households flooded during last year's storm when the Dog River overflowed its banks.

"We all knew that it would be unlikely that it would be wise to return to that home, ever, because it had been flooded before and with a climate change future it was clear that it would get flooded again," the governor said. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay 75 percent of the $19.8 million in hazard mitigation grants; Shumlin said he was working to ensure the state will pay the remaining 25 percent.

"The state is committed to doing everything we can to make towns and property owners whole under the program," Shumlin said....

FEMA image of a 1998 flood in Vermont

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