MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Republican Gov. Phil Scott has requested a federal disaster declaration for the December storm that left tens of thousands without power in Vermont during the Christmas holiday week.
Scott is seeking financial aid for nine counties. He said Wednesday that the storm not only impacted those without power but created “a large financial gap for public utilities, and by extension taxpayers.”
“Restoration costs for some of these utilities were two or three times their annual maintenance budget, which is a deficit that will not be easily erased without further financial hardship for many Vermonters,” he said in a statement.
The storm in Vermont was part of a monster storm t hat stretched from the Great Lakes to the Rio Grande along the border with Mexico and buried Buffalo, New York, claiming more than 40 lives in western New York.
If a federal disaster declaration is granted, funding would be available to reimburse municipal and non-profit utilities for 75% of eligible restoration costs and municipalities for 75% of what’s been spent on storm-related debris removal, road repairs, and staff overtime, Scott’s office said.