Vermont Post TS Irene Updates

Brook RD Windsor VT
Sept 1 Update
A note from the Gov. 7 pm:
I have spent the past few days traveling the state talking to people who have lost their homes, businesses and livelihoods.  Hurricane Irene devastated many parts of Vermont with torrential rains that caused flash flooding, the likes of which haven't been seen in our small state since 1927

The storm took the lives of three Vermonters, closed 260 roads, 30 bridges and over 350 schools, left many communities isolated and over 50,000 without power.  Thanks to the hard work of Vermont officials, FEMA and the National Guard we have made great progress - gaining access to every community in Vermont, restoring power to 40,000 homes and re-opening 200 roads and over 200 schools.  As we move from rescue to recovery there is much work ahead for Vermont.  Hard work and patience will be required of everyone as we get Vermonters back on their feet. 
Reading VT Bridge Repair

There are ways that you can help now! 

We need volunteers to answer phone calls at Burlington's 211 call center. 
Please call Eric Covey at 1-802-825-6165 to volunteer for this effort! 
Donate to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund - a fund dedicated to helping Vermonters assess their damage and receive the help they need to rebuild their lives.

Donate to the Vermont chapter of the American Red Cross. The Red Cross is providing shelter, food and other basic needs following Hurricane Irene.

Thank you for any support you can give.  Vermonters are hardworking and resilient and we will all work tirelessly to help those affected by the storm rebuild their homes, businesses and communities.

My Best,
Peter Shumlin
Governor of Vermont

From Jake Perkinson, Acting Chair, Vermont Democratic Party <>

As of last evening (Wednesday, August 31st) , assessments found that: 

  • about 120 homes have major damage or were destroyed
  • three more state roads opened today
  • 64 remain closed and Transportation crews are working into the night on those projects
  • 65 state bridges remain closed
  • four Red Cross shelters are still open
  • several local shelters are also housing people who lost housing in the storm.

After hearing of concerns related to the 211 call center being overloaded with phone calls for information and assistance, the Governor’s office worked closely with FEMA and the United Way to triple the capacity, adding 20 new lines. Additional volunteers are needed to staff the line; anyone interested in volunteering should contact the Governor’s office at 802-828-3333.

“One of our priorities was to get the 211 telephone system staffed to the appropriate level to handle this unprecedented call level,” Gov. Shumlin said. He noted that social media, including Facebook, has also enabled Vermonters to volunteer, donate cash to help victims of the storm, and stay up to speed on road closing and other issues.

Power has been restored to all but about 10,000 Vermonters statewide, down from over 50,000 outages on Monday. Bridge inspectors are coming in from other states to assist the Agency of Transportation in getting bridges reopened; truck-loads and helicopter loads of food, water and supplies have been – and will continue to be – delivered to communities statewide; law enforcement is conducting welfare checks to ensure Vermonters’ safety.

Also Thursday 9/1:
All of the 13 previously isolated communities now have vehicle access of some sort
(some require four-wheel drive access). Transportation crews worked all day on the final community – Wardsboro – and provided access just before 6 p.m.

Businesses like the Brownsville General are OPEN and need your support!
Recognizing that many Vermonters might be unable to meet the Sept. 1 filing deadlines for four programs administered by the Tax Department, the deadline for accepting those documents will be Sept. 30 (must be received by the Department for Property Tax Adjustment Claim; Homestead Declaration; Renter Rebate Claim; and Current Use Application.

The Vermont Bar Association, Vermont Legal Aid, Legal Services Law Line of Vermont and the Vermont Volunteer Lawyers Project have pro bono lawyers standing by to help victims of Tropical Storm Irene. Call 1-800-889-2047 to speak by phone with a Legal Aid or Law Line attorney, or be assigned an attorney through the Volunteer Lawyer Project. Visit for answers to frequently asked questions.

Gov. Shumlin’s office is working with state agencies to make sure that state laws and permitting requirements aren’t unreasonably slowing recovery efforts.

The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has allocated up to $10 million in special low-interest financing for Vermont businesses and farms who suffered direct physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irene. The Hurricane Irene Assistance Loan Program funds are available immediately.

Of the 327 Vermont public schools were closed Monday, all but 90 have reopened.

The Agency of Commerce and Community Affairs opened a call-line to report business damage from flooding : 802-828-3211.

Note: There are two sites in particular that you may want to check periodically for information on both assistance and volunteering needs: