The Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended by four days the eligibility window for federal aid related to this summer’s devastating flooding in Vermont. The move should make disaster assistance available to those who suffered damage slightly later in July.
Initially, only individuals and public entities whose property was damaged from July 7 through July 17 were eligible for aid. FEMA announced in a press release Thursday that qualifying damage that took place through July 21 is now covered.
The brunt of this summer’s flooding occurred from July 10 to July 12, when multiple inches of rain hit the state, leading to flash floods and major river flooding — damaging homes and businesses. But in the weeks following the disaster, repeated rainstorms and landslides caused additional damage, notably in Highgate in Franklin County and Hartland in Windsor County, according to Vermont Emergency Management spokesperson Mark Bosma.
Gov. Phil Scott requested that FEMA consider expanding the incident period to cover that damage, FEMA spokesperson BrianaSummer Fenton said in an email.
Bosma said the extension could also help other Franklin County towns that experienced flooding earlier in the month because the additional qualifying incidents could help the whole county reach a damage threshold that would lead to more federal aid. Neither Franklin nor Addison counties are among the nine counties that currently qualify for FEMA’s individual assistance program.
According to Bosma, FEMA has not yet determined whether to grant a separate request from the state to extend the original disaster declaration to August 5, which would help cover flooding that hit Addison and Rutland counties in early August. If FEMA fails to grant that request, Bosma said, the state would seek a separate disaster declaration covering damage to public infrastructure in Addison County from August 3 through August 5.
The deadline for individuals and households to apply for FEMA assistance is October 12. Vermonters can apply online or in person at a disaster recovery center, according to the FEMA website.