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State Seeks Extension To Assess December Storm Damage

Gov. Peter Shumlin is requesting an extension from the federal government so the state can finish its assessment of last month’s storm damage.

The storm that hit the state December 9 through 12 caused well over $1 million in damage – that’s the statewide threshold to qualify for federal assistance – but officials want to have a final number ready before they ask for a disaster declaration from President Obama.

"We're finding that the damage to the power grid and some public infrastructure has been extensive," DEMHS Director Joe Flynn said in a press release about the request.  "We have known for some time that the state total is far greater than the $1-million required for a declaration. However we've found that damage has been spread out over at least 12 of Vermont's 14 counties and inspecting and verifying that damage will take more time. I'm confident FEMA will agree."

Normally, the state has 30 days after a storm event to request a federal disaster declaration.

If the president approves the request, publicly owned and municipal utilities can be partially reimbursed for expenses related to storm recovery.