The state of Vermont is notifying towns still struggling financially from Tropical Storm Irene repairs that it will give out payments early while those towns await federal reimbursement for repairs.

The accelerated payments are for town highways and payment-in-lieu-of taxes, which are normally given out in October; current use payments, which are typically sent out in November; and state aid to education payments, which are normally dispersed in December.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is saying it may be quite a while before the state knows how much it will get from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for repairs from Tropical Storm Irene.

Shumlin on Wednesday is outlining plans for the state to go ahead with revamping its mental health system and renovating its state agency office complex.

The effort comes in response to flooding from Tropical Storm Irene 54 weeks ago, which forced the closure of the Vermont State Hospital and the surrounding office complex in Waterbury.

Ryan Delaney/WAMC

More than a year after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, New York State has forwarded more than 400 applications for property buy-outs to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  And state officials say there are more pending.

Courtesy NOAA

Tropical Storm Irene caused damage or destroyed countless homes and businesses as rivers and streams became raging torrents. In Vermont, over 500 miles of state roads were damaged and 34 state highway bridges had to be rebuilt . Over 3000 local roads, culverts and bridges were damaged or destroyed. Towns were completely isolated and supplies were helicoptered to residents.  On this one year anniversary of the storm people in northern New York and Vermont are still rebuilding and many still need help.


Governor Peter Shumlin says Vermont has become a national leader in how to respond to natural disasters and there's little he'd change about the state's handling of flooding after Hurricane Irene.

Shumlin tells The Associated Press that forming partnerships among state agencies, state and local governments and the private sector were keys to Vermont's success in recovering from the storm and the subsequent flooding.

Vermont state officials say the cloud of uncertainty surrounding federal funding for Vermont's recovery from Tropical Storm Irene has grown thicker with the departures of two top officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding says the state has been working for months with FEMA officials over the complicated issues of how much Vermont will be reimbursed for the destruction of the Vermont State Hospital and much of the surrounding state office complex in Waterbury.

Governor Peter Shumlin plans over four days to visit 22 Vermont communities impacted by Tropical Storm Irene to mark the anniversary of the storm.

Shumlin on Tuesday announced events that will be held to celebrate Vermont's recovery from the flooding on Aug. 28, 2011, and to acknowledge that more work needs to be done.

A free statewide event will be held on Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph, with music, storm videos, artwork and photography.

Courtesy NOAA

Vermont officials could learn this week how much the Federal Emergency Management Agency will contribute to help rehabilitate the state office complex in Waterbury, which was made unusable by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.


Vermont lawmakers are coming to the defense of Governor Peter Shumlin's administration following criticisms by a candidate to unseat him that he misled the Legislature and the public about the amount of post-Irene disaster relief Vermont was likely to get.

Representative Alice Emmons, a Springfield Democrat and chairwoman of the House Institutions and Corrections Committee, says her panel purposely built a good deal of flexibility into this year's state construction budget because of uncertainty about funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Vermont officials are expressing frustration and alarm at the lack of certainty surrounding how much money the state will get from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with recovery from Tropical Storm Irene.