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Governor Phil Scott announces that a federal disaster declaration has been approved for Vermont

 Screengrab from Vermont Agency of Agriculture video of Montpelier flooding July 2023
Vermont Agency of Agriculture
Vermont Governor's office
Screengrab from Vermont Agency of Agriculture video of Montpelier flooding July 2023

Vermont Governor Phil Scott is welcoming news that President Biden has issued a federal disaster declaration for the state.

The White House issued the federal disaster declaration as Vermont Governor Phil Scott began his daily briefing on flooding Friday.

“Over the next 48 hours it’s incredibly important to get flooded homes, businesses and public buildings as dry as possible to prevent other outcomes like mold and we’re working on resources to help with that. And when it comes to recovery the federal government continues to be incredibly helpful. As you know, last night I submitted to President Biden a request for a federal major disaster declaration and I’m happy to say that the President approved that request. So I’m very grateful to the speed of FEMA and the White House. It will open up significant federal resources for communities, individuals, businesses and the state.”

Scott and state officials are relieved that storms on Thursday night were not as severe as anticipated especially as word comes of the storm’s first fatality.

“Although it appears Rutland and Addison counties were affected the most with high winds which led to more power outages compared to earlier this week. Yesterday the state, unfortunately, confirmed its first fatality related to flooding. I want to express my sincere condolences to the Davoll family, Stephen’s friends and my hometown of Barre for this heartbreaking loss.”

Agriculture is a critical part of Vermont’s culture and economy. Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets Secretary Anson Tebbetts says an historic flood in the middle of the state’s short growing season is particularly devastating as it follows a hard freeze that many farmers experienced in May.

“It’s clear the losses will be catastrophic and our farmers, small businesses and agriculture producers will need help. We expect the excessive flooding and silt will destroy a large share of our produce and livestock feed. Countless fields of corn, hay, vegetables, fruit and pasture were swamped and buried. Many crops cannot be replanted and losses will not be effectively recovered or mitigated prior to our early fall harvest. Heavy losses of agriculture products or feed will put many at risk. There is a ripple effect. The disruption to our farms may disrupt our regional food system and our food security.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is scheduled to be in Vermont Monday to survey impacted infrastructure.

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