Vermont Press Releases

$5M emergency aid approved for storm-damaged Vermont roads and bridges

$5 Million Emergency Aid Approved for Storm-Damaged Vermont Roads and Bridges

BURLINGTON, Vt., Aug. 31 – The U.S. Department of Transportation released $5 million in emergency funds to rebuild and repair roads and bridges destroyed or damaged in Vermont by Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont’s congressional delegation announced today.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Tuesday evening notified U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. Sanders had been in discussion with LaHood to explain the magnitude of the destruction in Vermont and to convey the state’s need for emergency help.

Sanders said, “I want to thank Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood for his quick response to providing emergency help to Vermont in our time of need. Secretary LaHood has a strong understanding of the magnitude of the disaster that has struck Vermont and the need for immediate federal help and I appreciate that very much. While no one can yet estimate the full extent of the damage and destruction that Vermont has suffered, it is likely that the long-term cost of rebuilding our roads, bridges, rail lines, businesses, homes and public buildings will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. For Vermont’s rebuilding effort to be successful, there is no question but that there will have to be strong cooperation between the federal government and the state. Sen. Leahy, Rep. Welch and I will be working as hard as we can to make that happen.”

Leahy said, “Never in my life have I witnessed this much destruction in our state, and it breaks my heart to see it. I am grateful to Secretary LaHood and the Department of Transportation for their prompt response to this disaster. The people of Vermont are resilient, but even the strongest among us can use a helping hand. This emergency aid will help to start rebuilding the many roads and bridges all over Vermont that were destroyed in the flooding. As Vermonters move forward, looking to each other for support, I will continue to do everything in my power, along with Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch, to secure aid for the state and to see that all levels of government come together to effectively bolster the efforts of neighbors and friends as we all work to come to terms with this tragedy.”

Welch said, “This is welcome news to Vermont. The damage to public infrastructure is immense and this will help us begin to rebuild. We have more work to do. Traveling around the state, I am meeting small business owners who have lost their livelihoods, employees who have lost their jobs, farmers who have had their crops washed away, and individuals whose homes are ruined. We have a long recovery ahead of us, and more assistance will be vital. Vermont has always responded to times of great hardship by working together. We will do so again. I thank Secretary LaHood for the quick action and look forward to working with Sens. Leahy and Sanders as well as Gov. Shumlin to make sure the necessary assistance gets to Vermont quickly.”

The emergency funds help pay for the repair and reconstruction of federal highways and bridges that have suffered serious damage as a result of the storm. The funds are for immediate responses to repair storm damage and will not reduce the amount Vermont may ultimately receive if, as expected, President Barack Obama declares a federal disaster in the state.

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  • Feeling extra grateful to all those who build and maintain our roads, and all those who are here to help this week.

  • Cath Moore

    not sure how burlington was impacted.

  • I want all of you that live and have your livelihood in Vermont that there are people that share in your dismay and sorrow since this terrible flooding. To me VERMONT is the most beautiful place IN THE WORLD to be especially in Autumn. I have been praying for all of you there. I want to challenge anyone reading this that LOVES VERMONT with its quaint towns, covered bridges & some of the most artistic people to DONATE or create a fund raiser to help with the long re-build that is ahead for this wonderful state. Tourism no doubt is the main avenue that supports these hard-working people of incredible strength. In the days to come…I would like to encourage everyone with their heart attached to VT to GIVE anyway they can to restore this state to its previous glory. To those that live there: HANG IN THERE and KNOW that BETTER DAYS ARE AHEAD. To the lady that was on the news saying that the covered bridge now gone was “The End” of her: know that God knows your heart and will give you confort in knowing that Vermont will be re-built and Good Samaritians will open up their pockets to perhaps re-build a covered bridge in honor of the beautiful old one we have ALL lost. I have been blessed to have been able to live a short while in Vermont and have been able to make several vacations there. My husband and I WILL SUPPORT VERMONT by coming back to your wonderful state of small town USA to visit and enjoy the MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE in the USA. I will buy more products and services from you in VERMONT…I will encourage others to get purchase the many products and services that only your state offers!! Anyone that is reading this know that even though I do not live there…my heart is broken at the many photos of damage there. I do pray…you are on the top of my prayer list. I pray for you not to give up but find comfort knowing things of this earth are temporary. You may realize more than ever that you have been blessed to live in such a unique and natural beautiful place. To me Vermont have been the closest place to Heaven. You still have a little bit of heaven on earth…much better days are ahead.

  • Rudi Mair

    very generous of Mr.LaHood,hope our Representatives can do much better than a small amount of 5M.After seeing all the destruction everywhere it seems the cost could run up to a Billion.Now is the time when Vermont needs the Feds. My heart goes out to all the people who suffered tremendous losses,good luck to everyone.