Vermont Electric Cooperative Receives $2.1 M from FEMA for Clean-Up Efforts from the December 2014 Storm

(FRIDAY, June 5, 2015) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) Friday announced a $2.1 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant to Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) for clean-up and repair efforts following December’s severe winter storm.

Winter Storm Damon, in December 2014, devastated Northern Vermont, leaving thousands without power and dealing damage to Vermont’s electric utilities that rivaled Tropical Storm Irene and the 1998 ice storm.  Freezing rain and accumulating snow brought down trees and power lines across the region, causing almost 45,000 outages in the VEC service territory that affected about 13,000 members.

In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said:  “Vermonters know all too well the damage and disruption these storms can cause in the region.  We followed this storm as it unfolded and worked closely to support the Vermont Electric Cooperative as efforts were launched to restore power.  We were proud of the hard work of the people of VEC and other utilities and welcome the approval of this grant.  It is good news for their members to see most of the costs in responding to this disaster are being reimbursed by FEMA.”

The FEMA grant of $2,130,871 will cover an estimated 75 percent of the total eligible clean-up cost incurred by VEC.

Governor Shumlin said, "State and FEMA personnel have been working together to get much-needed federal disaster funds to communities and utilities as they work to recover from December's storms.  We are grateful for the sustained state-federal partnership that is efficiently processing the paperwork and getting disaster funds to applicants."

Dave Hallquist, CEO of VEC, said, “This is great news. As a member-owned cooperative, VEC is eligible to apply for FEMA reimbursement of storm costs. Without federal assistance, the burden of cleanup costs would fall much harder on our members. We are grateful for the support of our federal delegation and for our strong partnership with FEMA, which enables us to respond quickly and efficiently to get the lights back on for members.”

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