by Guy Page
The State of Vermont has long-term plans to buy out some homes in high-risk flood areas, for which lots of new federal money will be needed, Gov. Phil Scott said today.
Scott’s proposal is an early answer to a question asked more and more often since the July 10-11 flood: should Vermont rebuild in
FEMA officials said the federal agency won’t provide funding for homes in flood-plain areas – which includes many riverside town homes and mobile home parks. So Vermont needs to develop an alternative to merely rebuilding in areas likely to reflood, Scott said.
The governor called on Congress to pass supplemental (additional) funding for July flood disaster relief. The State’s existing flood buyout program can’t afford large-scale buyouts without federal aid, administration officials said.
When asked by a skeptical reporter if a divided Congress will allocate major new funding for disaster relief, Scott pointed out that even sharply divided Congressional leaders like New Yorkers Sen. Charles Schumer and Elaine Stefanik both want flood relief.
“I imagine they might want to get together,” Scott said.
Scott emphasized that mobile home parks in flood plains will be among the homes targeted for buyouts.
Vermont must focus on climate resilience, Scott said. “Even if we could throw a switch and magically stop climate change from happening, that won’t stop this storm and the storm 10 years from now,” he said.
When asked whether Gov. Scott is thinking about the absence of rainmaker Sen. Patrick Leahy in Vermont’s time of great need, Scott answered, “I’ve been thinking about that since the day he left office.”
Categories: State Government