Tom Buchanan/Special to The Commons

This crisis is not over

Federal government will provide emergency relief for Vermont in the aftermath of this week’s flooding

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Dear Fellow Vermonter,

As we all know, Vermont is now experiencing our worst natural disaster since 1927. Many hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged by the terrible flooding that we are seeing throughout the state, and there is concern that more rain may bring even further damage.

Sen. Welch, Rep. Balint, and I are working with the Governor's office to make sure that every possible federal resource comes to Vermont as quickly as possible. I am very appreciative that President Biden, whom I spoke to today, signed a federal emergency declaration for Vermont as soon as he could. Today, I also spoke with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, who will be leading that agency's response to this crisis.

If you are a household or a local business owner who has been impacted by the floods so far, please stay tuned here for updates on how you can access support.

However, please also remember: This crisis is not over. Rivers are still at flood stage, and more rain is forecasted. Vermonters should continue to follow all directions from emergency responders and heed all road signs.

It is looking like the Montpelier/Barre area and Ludlow/Londonderry/Andover/Weston and surrounding towns have been hit hardest at the moment. Many other areas and towns have also experienced serious flooding.

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Vermont's swift water rescue teams have now performed more than 100 rescues throughout the state. Additional teams from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and North Carolina are here and also assisting. More teams are en route.

There are also Vermont National Guard helicopters in the air assisting in rescue operations and evacuations, with support from the New Hampshire Guard. State troopers are deployed throughout the state assisting stranded drivers, performing wellness checks, and more.

Let me once again thank all of the road crews and emergency response teams who are working around the clock to protect lives and property. They are real heroes and heroines.

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Remember: There are countless road washouts around the state. When driving, do not take any chances. Stay away from rivers and flooded areas. Keep yourself and your family safe by staying well clear of damaged and flooded areas.

Please respect all detours and never drive across a flooded road. Any individual should report a life-threatening situation by dialing 911.

Here are some resources:

• For a list of state road closures, visit

• Use the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service's website to track river forecasts and levels at

• Register for Vermont Alerts at to receive up-to-the-minute safety warnings.

• For additional alerts and sources of information, including language translations, additional best practices, and more:

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I know that many who have not personally been affected are anxious to help your fellow Vermonters during this difficult time.

Please know that your support will be needed in the coming days and weeks. We are still in the very early stages of this disaster, and responders are focused on evacuations and preventing loss of life.

Right now, officials ask that any volunteer efforts remain local to your community.The best way to help is by checking in on your friends and neighbors.

This recovery will be long. To get through this together, we will need many helping hands in the coming weeks, months, and even years.

You can also sign up to volunteer at

Once you submit your information, the state will contact you as soon as you're needed and will connect you with a local organization or volunteer group.

It is important that no one self-deploy at this time, as doing so could put you or others at risk.

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