Governor Peter Shumlin announced today that the state has requested an Individual Disaster Declaration for three additional counties in Vermont: Franklin, Lamoille and Orleans. If approved, residents and business owners in those counties will be eligible to apply for federal assistance for everything from repair work to temporary rent payments resulting from damage created by Tropical Storm Irene. ‘Our recent assessment of these counties found that damage to homes and businesses meets the threshold for federal assistance,’ Gov. Shumlin said. ‘We hope FEMA will move quickly to approve this declaration request so we can begin getting help to home and business owners in these counties.’ The counties of Addison, Bennington, Caledonia, Chittenden, Orange, Rutland, Washington, Windham and Windsor had already been approved for individual assistance by the White House. Assessment of damage to homes and businesses in Franklin, Lamoille and Orleans Counties was completed on Sept. 13. Every county except Grand Isle has received a Public Assistance Declaration, which provides federal assistance for repair and replacement of roads, bridges and other public infrastructure. The IA declaration will allow home and business owners who sustained damage from the Tropical Storm to apply for reimbursement for repairs, temporary housing costs, septic system replacements, entrance and exit ways from the home, including privately owned access roads, and more.