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.
My heart feels broken, so heavy with loss I feel by the loss of my friend and paddling partner. She was taken from the world too soon. I miss her and feel sad not only for me, but for all of her friends and family. The kayak community lost one of their best this past week. Dear Mountain Mama, Can you help me find the light in this time of darkness? Yours,Broken Dear Broken,Of course you feel broken. Shannon Christy graced everyone she met with her signature smile, and with her warmth and generosity. She shared her love for life with everyone she met, on and off the river.I was lucky enough to paddle with Shannon a couple years ago when I was pregnant. She made me feel like a superstar for being pregnant and paddling. A year later, when I introduced my baby to Shannon at the put-in of a local run, she greeted him as if she was a long-awaited nephew. My baby boy couldn’t help but return her smile.In her brief time on this planet, Shannon lived with a pure and happy heart. We all loved her and feel the darkness of her death. So young. So beautiful. So talented. And when we feel loss, we can feel broken and sad.Broken, let yourself grief. But don’t stay broken. Let Shannon’s light shine through you, let her zest for life play out in your own life, and embrace challenges with her same sense of optimism. When you put-on the next river, look for the river mermaid smiling at you. And when you take your next boof stroke, let yourself smile and think of our friend.Paddle toward the light!Mountain Mamaa