Sanders praises the rebuilding of Vermont one year after Irene
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) praised “Vermont at its best” in Pttisfield Sudnay, at one of a series of community events around the state to mark the one-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene. Between grants and loans, more than $400 million in federal funding has been raised.
The senator joined Governor Peter Shumlin at a potluck picnic on the lawn outside Pittsfield’s restored town office and library near the Tweed River, which overflowed after the August 28, 2011, torrential storm and washed out roads, bridges and buildings.
“What we witnessed in the days after the storm was Vermont at its best,” Sanders said. “I was deeply moved by the compassion and good will that Vermonters extended to friends and neighbors – as well as to complete strangers – who were stricken by the disaster.” He also praised the Vermont National Guard and emergency responders from the state and towns across Vermont.
Vermont’s strong recovery from Tropical Storm Irene has been aided by an estimated $411 million in federal assistance during the past year. The two greatest sources of federal help to date have been the $125 million in U.S. Department of Transportation emergency relief for road and bridge repairs and $125.5 million in assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for repairing and rebuilding public buildings.
Other major sources of federal funding include $42 million from FEMA’s flood insurance program, $23 million in FEMA assistance for individuals displaced by the disaster and $21.9 million from the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development. Another $33 million in Small Business Administration loans brings the total in federal assistance to date to about $411.3 million.
Sanders pledged to continue working with local, state and federal officials to finish the massive rebuilding effort undertaken after one of the worst natural disasters in Vermont history. “There is more to be done. We are continuing to work cooperatively and constructively with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies to complete the state’s recovery,” the senator added. “Sen. Leahy, Rep. Welch and I will continue working closely with Gov. Shumlin to do everything we can to make sure that Vermont receives the federal resources that the state needs to rebuild.”
Source: Bernie Sanders, PITTSFIELD, Vt, 8.26.2012