08.31.11

The Leahy Letter -- Special Edition -- Recovering From Irene

Dear Fellow Vermonter,

As we learn more and see more and reconnect with each other, Vermonters are still coming to terms with the swift and fierce destruction that Irene left in her wake. I'm a lifelong Vermonter and I've never seen anything quite like this before in our state.

For so many Vermonters this already was anything but an easy year, with earlier flooding that already set historic records.

I can't tell you how stirring it has been to see neighbors helping not only neighbors but also complete strangers. On our visits to some of the hardest-hit towns, Governor Shumlin and I met volunteer after volunteer, pitching in and working hard on the cleanup and to put their businesses and homes back together.

Relief efforts are well underway and emergency repairs have begun. The work of recovery will be a longer process. We are drawing from our state's resources and Vermonters' reserves of courage and stamina, but we will also need help that is beyond the means of a small state like ours. I will continue to work side by side with Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch, as we work step by step with President Obama, Governor Shumlin, federal disaster officials and others, to ensure that every federal resource is available to Vermont as we begin the recovery process. We have forged a strong partnership for Vermont that is working well, and that bodes well for the future.

Questions, answers, resources and events evolve rapidly in a crisis like this. The internet is a marvelous communications tool, and I have prepared a quick-link resource page to pass along important information and key contacts to help flooded property owners, businesses and renters.

Patrick Leahy

United States Senator for Vermont

Resources For Vermonters

A new resource page is now available at leahy.senate.gov. This page will be updated continually as new information becomes avaialable about conditions in Vermont and sources of support for Vermonters recovering from this disaster.

Here are some links that may be helpful to you right now, in coping with the devastation left behind by Irene:

Vermont Travel Information Service

Vermont 2-1-1

Floodsmart.gov -- How to File a Flood Insurance Claim

A State Ravaged: Senator Leahy's Photos Of Vermont's Agony

Following Hurricane Irene's path of destruction through the state, Senator Leahy joined Governor Shumlin on Monday to assess the damage to people and property by helicopter, the only way of reaching several isolated communities. He has used his photos from the survey to help tell Vermont's story.

In this photo, Senator Leahy captured the extreme damage that was done to Route 4 near Rutland as water collapsed the hillside and created a 40-foot cliff where the highway once was.

A full photo gallery from Senator Leahy's aerial assessment of the storm damage is available here.

Press Contact

David Carle: 202-224-3693