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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Goodnight Irene Goodnight

Three months since the last storm and somehow it feels like yesterday.  Sunday in fact.  While other towns are still under water, Peacham had less damage with August 28 Hurricane Irene than we did with the May storm.  We did have several road washouts that are repaired now except for the County Road (near Bill Goss's place) which partially washed out again & is temporarily closed.  Crews plan to be working on it Thursday.  


IF YOUR PROPERTY WAS DAMAGED by this latest storm, report it by calling 2-1-1 so the state can collect data for federal assistance, and so a State or FEMA official can contact you & let you know if you might qualify for any type of aid.  Please spread this message to anyone you know who sustained damage.


Be careful driving since there are tree limbs close to the road and occasional small washes.  You may experience more extensive road damage or undercut road shoulders with little or no warning in other towns.  Peacham's road crew is still covering the rough stone repairs from the May storm with finer material, doing erosion control, and catching up.  Our equipment situation recently improved with the arrival of our new truck and grader. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Deadline for Disaster Assistance for private citizens, businesses & nonprofits

The U.S. Small Business Administration reminds homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations located in Vermont that Sept. 6, 2011 is the deadline to submit their disaster loan applications for physical damage caused by the severe storms and flooding that occurred on May 26-27.

Anyone with insured losses should not wait for an insurance settlement before applying to the SBA. “If someone does not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, the SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided they agree to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay their SBA loan,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East.  

Low-interest disaster loans are available in the following Vermont counties: Caledonia and Washington which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. 


Interest rates are as low as 2.688 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years.  The SBA sets the loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s financial condition.

For additional assistance, call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955
(800-877-8339 for people with speech or hearing disabilities) Monday through Friday from
8 a.m. to 6 p.m., ET or send an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Loan application forms can be downloaded from the SBA website at www.sba.gov.  Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155. 

To speak to an SBA representative face to face, visit one of the Centers indicated below.
                                                            
FEMA/SBA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs)
SBA Business Recovery Center (BRC)
Caledonia County
Washington County
Washington County
St. Johnsbury Welcome Center
Barre City Auditorium
Barre City Hall - Barre Area Development
51 Deport Square
16 Auditorium Hill
6 North Main Street
St. Johnsbury VT 05819
Barre VT 05641
Barre VT 05641
Open Mon-Sat; 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Sun; Noon to 6:00 PM
Open Mon-Sat; 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Open:  Mon-Fri; 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
          
          


 Those affected by the disaster may also apply for disaster loans electronically from SBA’s website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.  The filing deadline to return applications for physical damage is September 6, 2011.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is April 9, 2012.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Notice of Public Hearing re Flood Hazard Zoning Regs Supplement

There will be a public hearing per Title 24, (Chapt. 117) Sections 4424 (Shorelands; flood or hazard area; special or freestanding bylaws)  and 4415 (Interim Bylaws as an Emergency Measure) of the Vermont State Statues for the purpose of hearing public comments concerning: 

FLOOD HAZARD REGULATIONS -- A Supplement to the Town of Peacham, Vermont Zoning Ordinance   

 The public hearing has been scheduled at the Peacham Town Office, 74 Church St., Peacham, Vermont for: 
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 6:45 pm during its regular Selectboard meeting.

Purpose: The Town is proposing to amend the Peacham Zoning Ordinance to qualify the town for enrollment in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  It seeks to avoid loss of property that is likely to result from flooding-related inundation and erosion.

Location of Documents:  Copies of the
-  Fluvial Erosion Hazard Zone Maps and
-  the full text of the proposed Supplement to the Peacham Zoning Ordinance  [Draft Proposal of 8/1/2011 for public comment]
are available at the Peacham Town Clerk’s Office in the Town Office.

Notice of Public Meetings re Roller Barn grant

There will be two public meetings for the purpose of hearing public comments concerning: 
the Town’s proposed application for a 2012 Vermont Transportation Enhancement Program grant to stabilize and improve the historic Roller Barn located near the Town green at the Peacham Pathways trailhead.

The public meetings has been scheduled as part of regular Selectboard meetings at the Peacham Town Office, 79 Church St., Peacham, Vermont: 
-  Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 6:45 pm; and
-  Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 6:45 pm.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grants!

The State is has several grants available to communities through the "Building Communities Grants Programs."  Most of these are available to towns and nonprofits.  They are for historic preservation, cultural facilities, recreational facilities, human services, health care, education, and agricultural fairs.  One grant program is available to private citizens (Historic Barn & Ag Buildings).  
Here is a link to descriptions of the grants:  http://bgs.vermont.gov/sites/bgs/files/pdfs/BGS-Grants-Summary.pdf
This and other materials are at this state website under "Grants": http://bgs.vermont.gov/formsandpublications


If your nonprofit can utilize any of these, go for it!  
Or, if someone sees a Town need, and will volunteer to do the grant, talk to us!  As a Selectboard, we are busy with previous grants, applications to FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program and so on, but if someone wants to lead the charge and take responsibility for another grant effort that could benefit the town, let us know.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Road Update of 7/14/2011

- Hollow Road is now open.  
- We anticipate work opening Rake Factory Road Friday or next week.  
- There has been more work on Macks Mtn. Road this week.  We finally have more road material.  


- Yes, we realize a lot of the roads and repairs are rough with large stones.  The road crew will be cleaning and smoothing these areas by adding top layers of finer material that eventually packs hard.  They will also be doing more ditching.


- Since the storm, we have had 6 trucks and 5 private contractors working 50-hour weeks along with our own town road crew.  Thank you for your patience.  We have been borrowing funds to pay for this with the town's line of credit, and hope to start recouping most of those funds from FEMA and state assistance now that Caledonia County has been included in the disaster declaration.


- The road construction on Route 2 through Danville has been put on hold for now.  If you still try to bypass it via Keiser Pond Road, remember the speed limit is 35mph.

NOTICE to those with damage from the 5/26-27 storms

EMERGENCY WATERSHED PROTECTION FUNDS:

There is a one-time possibility for federal financial assistance for relieving imminent hazards caused by natural disasters such as repairing blocked streams, unstable streambanks, jeopardized dams, etc.  It is through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).  The Town of Peacham has its foot in the door to sponsor private projects if they qualify -- however time is short.

If you are interested, a NRCS engineer needs to talk with you and assess the property with a site visit PRIOR TO JULY 26, 2011.  This assessment and meeting with you does not cost anything and does not obligate you to anything.  However it is absolutely necessary if you have any hope of accessing these EWP emergency funds. 

To begin the EWP process with the necessary (but no-obligation) assessment, please contact:
Michel Lapointe, P.E., Civil Engineer with the USDA-NRCS
1193 South Brownell Road, Suite 35, Williston, VT 05495-7416
(802) 865-7895 Ext. 118 TEL   (802) 324-0377 Cell    (802) 865-7947 FAX

FEMA FUNDING:

Two Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) have opened (Barre and Newport, VT) to assist individuals, households and businesses with disaster-related damage caused by the storms and flooding.  The DRC is staffed with disaster recovery specialists from various federal, state and local agencies and organizations who can provide information and answer questions about storm-related assistance.
- Barre Municipal Auditorium, 16 Auditorium Hill, Barre, VT 05641.  8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. 
- Newport, VT (may be less busy), Newport City Hall Gymnasium, 222 Main Street, Newport, VT 05855.  8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Disaster officials also encourage those affected by the storms to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency before visiting a DRC.  See former posts about FEMA below.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Caledonia County (finally) qualifies for federal Disaster Assistance

DISASTER ASSISTANCE TOPS $1 MILLION FOR VERMONT
(News Release from VT Emergency Mgmt.) (7/12/2011) – More than $1 million in federal disaster aid has been approved for eligible applicants affected by the spring storms and flooding that occurred from April 23rd to May 9th.
Since President Obama issued a major disaster declaration on June 15th for these storms in the counties of Addison, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, and Orleans, over 800 people have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The grants include $1,050,536 in housing assistance, such as rental and home repair assistance, and $25,820 in other needs assistance, such as replacement of personal property.
Caledonia and Washington counties recently received federal declarations on Friday, July 8, for storms and flooding that occurred May 26th to 27th.
FEMA assistance to individuals and families may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and families recover.

Those who have experienced damage or loss from the flooding in the designated counties can register for disaster assistance at 800-621-FEMA (3362). Multilingual registration assistance is also available. Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY can call 800-462-7585 directly, or 800-621-3362, if using 711 or Video Relay Service. Registration can also be done online anytime at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or through web-enabled mobile phone devices at m.fema.gov.
The following is a recap of activities and assistance provided by FEMA and its partners:
  • Community Relations: To help identify and assist those who have flooding damage, FEMA Community Relations field specialists have visited more than 2,500 homes, businesses, local agencies and community-based organizations, and houses of worship, and reached out to local officials, the visually impaired, deaf and those with limited English proficiency.
  • Disaster Recovery Centers: Currently, four DRCs are open throughout the state, where those with questions about assistance after the floods can visit with a federal recovery specialist face-to-face. Those looking for the nearest disaster recovery center can check online at https://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/drcLocator.jsp or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362).
  • Low-Interest Loans: The U.S. Small Business Administration offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans to homeowners and renters as well as businesses. Find more information at www.sba.gov.
·                     Job Loss Due To Disaster: You may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance if the storms and flooding affected your ability to work. For more information call 877-214-3330 or visit www.labor.vermont.gov.
  • Legal Services: If you need legal assistance with home repair contracts, insurance claims and other disaster-related issues, you can call 800-889-2047 for free legal advice. The service is a partnership between Vermont Volunteer Lawyers Project, the Vermont Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and FEMA.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISASTER RECOVERY CENTER OPENS IN BARRE
WASHINGTON AND CALEDONIA COUNTIES TO BE SERVED BY NEW SITE

New Release from VT Emergency Mgmt. (7/9/2011)A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) has opened in Barre to assist individuals, households and businesses with disaster-related damage caused by the storms and flooding in late May in central Vermont

The DRC is staffed with disaster recovery specialists from various federal, state and local agencies and organizations who can provide information and answer questions about storm-related assistance.

The DRC is located at:  Barre Municipal Auditorium,16 Auditorium Hill, Barre, VT 05641
 The center will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

Disaster officials encourage those affected by the storms to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency before visiting a DRC by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or via a web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov. Multilingual registration assistance is available. Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY can call 800-462-7585 directly; or call 800-621-3362 if using 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS).
Once someone is registered, staff at a center can quickly review and update applicant information and provide specific answers to individual questions and concerns. Center specialists can also identify possible help from voluntary agencies or provide disaster-related information to reduce future damage risks.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Road update 7/3/11

County Road is now open through to Great Road.

Work has begun on Willow Brook Road.

Lots of work still to do. Most of the shoulders and ditches still need to be cleaned up.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Notice: Special SB Meeting this Friday

The Selectboard will hold a special meeting on Friday, June 24, 2011 beginning at 7:30am initially at the Town Clerk's office where state and federal representatives (Kari Dolan, Ned Swanberg, and Rob Evans) will explain the National Flood Insurance Program, provide guidance to assist with the town's application, and then possibly attend site visits to potential flood areas in town - locations to be decided within the same meeting.  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Seeking to Hire...

It is likely the town will need to hire a Grants Administrator soon.  The work will entail accumulating all the documentation necessary to recoup FEMA disaster grant funds to help pay for the roadwork, and related administrative duties.  
We will be looking for someone good at correlating information, numbers, and people.  They need to be proficient at writing, attention to detail, and keeping track of deadlines.  It would be on an independent contractor basis, working part time as needed with flexible hours.  They will need their own computer and be able to share digital updates often.  Pay will depend on their skills -- and the conditions of the grant itself when we know more about it.  Likewise, we don't know yet when the work will start or end, so more info will be forthcoming.   If you know anyone who is interested, the Selectboard welcomes their resume in our box at the town clerk's office or by email to townclerk@peacham.net.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reminder

Remember road conditions are still rough so drive carefully.  With all the rain, the ground is inundated so shoulders are soft and muddy.  Please take care and be considerate of drivers in opposite lanes on roads narrowed by erosion.

Road Work Update 6/16

Bayley Hazen Road from the blacktop to Ewells Mills Road (Ski Tow Road) is now open. That project has been completed.

Since the emergency work has been mostly completed, except for the remaining closed roads, it is our intention to try to complete repairs as quickly as possible. As noted yesterday, there is a lack of available material but the road crew is still working long hours to do everything it can. Completing repairs will consist of fixing the ditches, opening plugged culverts, and laying down a top coat of gravel. The point of trying to complete work on a road is to attempt to prevent future destruction of the work already performed.  We will also be working to get one-lane areas back to two-lanes as soon as we can.

The first finish project will be Old Cemetery Road. That should be finished sometime next week. At the same time, another crew will be working on Macks Mountain Road. That road will take at least another two weeks to complete. After Old Cemetery Road we will move to Green Bay Loop to finish that project. Again that will probably take close to two weeks. Once these roads are done we will post the next roads to be tackled.

This schedule is entirely dependent upon cooperation from Mother Nature. Another weather event or other emergency will mean a new schedule. Let us hope that the crazy weather is over.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Road Work Update

Work has been slowed by the availability of material. Many of the gravel pits are out of stone or only have what they can produce that day so we have experienced some delays. Work proceeds as quickly as it can. All the rain this week has not helped. The last list of closed roads hasn't changed.

Now that most of the emergency work has been done, we hope to have a schedule of road work prepared by the end of the week. We will post that here as soon as we can.

We are still waiting for a determination of funding eligibility from FEMA.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Penny Street is open

Penny Street is open now to the last house.

Update from the State (Avoiding Fraud)

VERMONT EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Date:
6/7/11

Contact:
Mark Bosma, Public Information Officer
Vermont Emergency Management
(800) 347-0488
Time:
2:00 p.m.
Avoid Fraud When Recovering From Flood
 WATERBURY – Many Vermonters continue to or are beginning to rebuild and recover from floods.  As that work continues, Vermont Emergency Management wants to remind residents to be on the lookout for dishonest contractors looking to cash-in on the disaster.
      Although there have been NO reports of it happening in this disaster, fraudulent contractors sometimes go door-to-door after catastrophic events to find victims who are in need of assistance.
      The Vermont Attorney General’s Office Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) urges consumers to fully checkout contractors before agreeing to any work.  Information and important questions to ask are available on the CAP website under: Home Improvement FAQs.

Watch out for the following warning signs of lees than reputable contractors:
•Solicit door-to-door and are not local to the area.
•Inform you that they were passing by and noticed a problem with your home.
•Offer you discounts for finding other customers or promise that the job will be a "demonstration."
•Just happen to have materials left over from a previous job and can give you a really good price.
•Only accept cash payments.
•Pressure you to make a decision on the spot.
•Ask you to pay for the entire job or a substantial portion of the job up front.
•Suggest that you borrow money from a lender the contractor knows.

     If you have a question about a contractor or suspect fraud, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program office at (800) 649-2424 or (802) 656-3183.
      Vermont’s home improvement fraud registry lists all contractors convicted of criminal home improvement fraud at: Home Improvement Fraud Registry.
 Vermont Attorney General web site: www.atg.state.vt.us
 Mark Bosma, Public Information Officer
Vermont Emergency Management  (800) 347-0488

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Closed Roads Update

The following roads are still closed:



  1. Governor Mattocks- entire length

  2. Willow Brook- entire length

  3. County Road- from Goss to Keenan

  4. Morrison Hill Road- class 4 section

  5. Rake Factory Brook Road- entire Peacham section

Paved Roads Update

Repairs have been made to the large washout on the Peacham-Barnet Road in South Peacham. However, please be careful in that area as the guardrails won't be replaced until later this week.

We have one crew working to repair the shoulders of the paved roads. This will help stabilize the pavement and prevent very expensive retreatment in the near future.

Part of Bayley Hazen Road open now

Bayley Hazen Rd. at the intersection of Ewells Mill Rd. & Ski Tow Rd. is now open (with temporary one-lane at the broken culvert).

Link to Photos of Road Damage

Again, road damage throughout Peacham is extensive.  For photos, see www.photobucket.com/TownofPeacham.  These are to document damaged areas in preparation for applying for FEMA assistance.  The town road crew and our hired contractors are still making 'temporary' repairs for at least another month.  We need to get all our roads to the point they are safely navigable before we can begin the phase of widening, surfacing, replacing undersized culverts, and bringing all roads up to our overall normal standards.  We have a lengthy, costly way to go.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Additional Update 6/6/11

A very significant section of Rake Factory Road is completely washed out so that road joins our list of closed roads.
Road Update 6/6/11

Aiken Farm Road, Farrow Farm Road, and Old Cemetery Road are now open. Like most roads in town they remain rough but passable.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Storm Aftermath

The damage to town roads from the 5/27 storm & flooding is more extensive than many realize.  Please be patient & help spread the word.  Roads closed and severely damaged are listed in posts below.  Other road hazards can appear suddenly:
- sides of roads may be undercut & narrow; 
- there may be sinkholes and washboarding; 
- current temporary repairs are quick & rough with large stones.
Additional signs and cones have not arrived yet.  Please understand that our road crew – along with other contractors hired temporarily – are working exhausting hours under grueling conditions.
> We ask you do not stop to ask for favors.  Conversations add up and cost money for each delay.  
> The crew will also be in triage mode well into the summer.  We prioritize repairs based on a number of factors including safety, school bus routes, main arteries, availability of materials  (quarries are running low) & other factors.  You can leave messages at the Town Garage 592-3101.


Regular summer road maintenance such as spraying chloride to keep dust down will happen late, if at all.  We're sorry for the inconvenience.  


Another reminder: most rights-of-way for public roads are 49.5 feet.  We recommend you not plant or place anything within the right of way or it is likely to get damaged, graveled or plowed over.  Some items could also pose a hazard to other drivers and vehicles.  We sometimes overlook encroachments, but extraordinary events like this mean we may need to enforce public rights and get lanes passable without delay. 


VT Route 2 near the Goodrich Maple Farm appears to be open again.
Some examples of Peacham's road damage:



Roads Closed


The following roads or sections of roads are still closed:

1.      Aiken Farm Road- the entire Peacham section
2.      Old Cemetery Road- from Willow Brook Road to Don Moore’s driveway-
        currently passable for emergency vehicles
3.      Willow Brook Road- the entire road
4.      County Road from Keenan’s to Goss’s
5.      Bayley Hazen Road (Ski Tow Road) from the blacktop to Ewell’s Mills Rd.
6.      Governor Mattocks Road- entire  length
7.      Farrow Farm Road- washout at Barnet town line
8.      Morrison Hill Road- class 4 section
9.      Rake Factory Brook road

Roads with Severe Damage


The following roads are severely damaged.  These roads have at least one lane open.  We're not able to offer a time frame for permanent 
repairs at the moment. (They are listed in no particular order.)

   1. Macks Mountain Road
   2. Slack Street
   3. Ewell’s Mill Road
   4. Bayley Hazen Road
   5. Hollow Woods Road
   6. Blanchard Hill Road
   7. East Peacham Road
   8. Old County Road
   9. Hookerville Cutoff
   10. Somers Road
   11. Thaddeus Stevens Road
   12. Way Road
   13. Green Bay Loop
   14. The Great Road
   15. Peacham-Barnet Road
   16. Keiser Pond Road
   17. Penny Street
   18. Ha’Penny Road
   19. Maple Tree Lane
   20. Academy Hill Road
   21. Stevenson Road
   22. Young Farm Road
   23. Peacham Pond Road
   24. Onion Point Road
   25. The Lane

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More Reminders from the State

Excerpt from a VERMONT EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT 
news release of 5/31/11, 11a.m.
Flood/Recovery Update

Landslides:  Homeowners and citizens are urged to keep a close eye on conditions around their homes due to heightened landslide concerns.  State Geologist Laurence Becker says this activity includes small landslides, cracks in the ground, or any other unusual ground conditions that were not previously there.

Other things to look for:
  • Look for changes in landscape and water drainage, or new cracks in foundations and sidewalks.
  • Watch the patterns of storm-water drainage on slopes near your home or business, and note especially the places where runoff water converges, increasing flow over soil-covered slopes. Watch the hillsides around your home or business for signs of land movement, such as small landslides or debris flows or progressively tilting trees.  Anyone who notices these signs should call their local fire or police.
 211:  Those homeowners who have suffered damage in the most recent floods are asked to call 2-1-1 to report that damage.

Current Road closures:  Rt. 5 in Barnet/Passumpsic / Rt. 14 E. Montpelier / Rt. 2 Cabot
Several other local roads are closed; please respect all road closures.
 For road closures dial 511 or go to www.511vt.com.

Mark Bosma, Public Information Officer, Vermont Emergency Management
(800) 347-0488   http://vem.vermont.gov

Monday, May 30, 2011

State Emergency Mgmt. Info of 5/29/11

Flood Recovery: What Communities and Individuals Should be Doing Now
 
5/29/2011  WATERBURY – As cleanup continues from Friday’s flooding around Vermont there are certain things communities and individuals should keep in mind.
 
The process of obtaining financial assistance from the federal government from late April and early May flooding is on-going.  Vermont completed its part of the process Friday when Governor Peter Shumlin sent a formal request to President Barack Obama for a disaster declaration.  The process of approving such a request can take one week to several weeks.
 
That request did not include damages from Friday’s event.  However, Vermont Emergency Management is working with the Governor to submit an addendum to that request to include Friday’s storms.  To be approved FEMA must agree that the flooding is part of the same weather pattern that caused previous floods.  For example, FEMA must agree that saturated ground conditions are a result of soaking rains over the past month.
 
If FEMA declines that request Vermont will begin the process of obtaining a separate disaster declaration for this week’s event.  Either way, communities and homeowners should follow the steps below in order to start the disaster declaration process.
 
The process of getting FEMA assistance and what communities should be doing now:
  1. Cities and towns should keep close track of all recovery costs, to include:
    1. All materials (including fuel for vehicles) to repair roads, bridges, or other public infrastructure and town buildings.
    2. Pay for municipal employees who are taking part in the recovery, including overtime costs.  This can include office staff working to support those efforts.
    3. Cost of contractors used in the recovery.
    4. Extra costs incurred by the storm.  For instance, if there is a cost associated with closing school above and beyond normal expenses, those may be included.
    5. Costs incurred preparing for the storm; that could include overtime paid to staff acting as spotters along rivers.
  2. Communities should compile all costs and report them to Vermont Emergency Management.
  3. VEM will work with the Agency of Transportation to verify some of the costs.
  4. VEM and AOT will then do a joint local/state/FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA).
 
If this event is not included in the previous declaration request, Vermont will need to show at least $1-million in new, verified statewide damages suffered this week.  Individual counties would then have to meet a pre-established threshold to qualify for a FEMA declaration.  That level is total qualified public damages of $3.27 per capita in that county.  These are not the only factors involved in receiving a Public Assistance disaster declaration, but the monetary levels are the biggest indicator.
 
Aid to individuals, private homeowners, business owners, renters, and others is more difficult to come by and Vermont has not qualified for so-called “Individual Assistance” since 2002.  However, Individual Assistance was included in the request submitted by Governor Shumlin this week.
 
Failing an IA declaration, the most likely alternative could be Small Business Administration loans (http://www.sba.gov/taxonomy/term/99).   These funds are advertised as below-market interest rate loans used to help individuals recover.  They would be made available to homeowners, business owners, some non-profits, and renters to recoup uninsured flood losses.
 
What homeowners and individuals should be doing now:
  1. Ensure your home is safe to return to by having your electrical and heating systems inspected by qualified professionals.
  2. Begin cleanup right away.  Delay in cleaning up can cause things like mildew to spread and make cleanup more difficult.
  3. Contact your insurance company.
  4. Keep close records of how much it costs to clean your home and how much of your property has been lost.
  5. REPORT ALL DAMAGES/LOSSES AND RECOVERY COSTS VERMONT 211.  211 is working with Emergency Management to collect damage reports for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
 
www.511vt.com – road closures
www.vem.vermont.gov – links to flooding tips and resources.
http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/btv/: Forecasts and warnings from the National Weather Service
 
Mark Bosma, Public Information Officer
Vermont Emergency Management

Be Cautious

Be cautious when driving through Peacham and other surrounding towns.  We don't have enough signs or cones to mark places where roads have been damaged.  


Route 2 is still closed by Goodrich Maple Farm but Hookerville Cutoff is open from Macks Mtn Road to Route 2 if you need to head southwest.

Submit Photos of Storm Damage

You can send photos of storm damage -- with the specific location -- to volfire@peacham.net.    We need to document the storm damage to apply for federal emergency funding assistance.  

Responses to Flash Flooding

The town experienced unprecedented road damage from the storm the night of Thursday, 5/26/2011.  Peacham had more than 5" of rain in less than 3 hours, along with high winds, electrical storms, and flash flooding.  Most of our roads experienced washouts and undercutting.


The road crew responded through that same night by cutting downed trees, attempting to unplug culverts and divert water where possible, then lining up extra manpower and equipment for morning. 


For the next three days the road crew began work at 5:30am to get all roads at least minimally passable so people were not stranded in their homes.  By Sunday 5/29/11 when the gravel was gone and gravel yards closed for the holiday weekend, all homes are at least accessible to fire trucks or other emergency vehicles.


We thank the road crew, extra help, and the many volunteers who worked long hours through this weekend by organizing emergency responses, checking on neighbors, and countless other tasks.


Now a different phase of work begins to get the roads wider and safer.  And to hopefully get FEMA assistance to help pay for it.