More than $1 million in federal disaster aid has been approved for eligible applicants in Vermont affected by the spring storms and flooding that occurred from April 23 to May 9.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(link is external) 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(link is external) 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(link is external). 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(link is external).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.FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585. If you have a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, call 1-800-462-7585 directly; if you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362 FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses. SBA disaster loan information and application forms may be obtained by calling 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 by sending an e-mail to [email protected](link sends e-mail). Applications can also be downloaded from www.sba.gov(link is external) or completed on-line at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/(link is external).
PHILADELPHIA — Joseph R. Biden Jr. defeated President Trump in Pennsylvania, winning its 20 electoral votes and presidency.Mr. Biden had steadily erased Mr. Trump’s early lead in the state — at one point, the president led by half a million votes — as ballots, mostly absentee and mail-in votes, were counted over the past few days. Most of the remaining uncounted votes in the state are in Democratic-leaning areas.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Separately, the Supreme Court did grant the Trump camp a minor victory in Pennsylvania on Friday evening, when Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. ordered election officials there to keep the late-arriving ballots separate from other ballots, and not to include them, for now, in announced vote totals. But the victory was essentially in name only: Pennsylvania’s secretary of state had already given that instruction.- Advertisement – The Biden campaign hoped further counting could push its lead above 0.5 percent, obviating the need for a recount there and setting the stage for victory. [After this post was published, Mr. Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania reached above 0.5 percent and news outlets declared him president-elect.]The biggest fight in the state has been over ballots that were postmarked by Election Day but arrive later. Nearly a dozen lawsuits filed by Mr. Trump and his allies are working their way through the courts in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, trying — so far unsuccessfully — to stop ballot counting and invalidate enough votes to erase Mr. Biden’s leads there. In September, the state Supreme Court ruled, over Republican objections, that election officials could accept ballots arriving up to three days later. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to intercede, but left open the possibility that it could revisit the question. Responding to baseless allegations by the Trump campaign of vote-counting secrecy, he said that observers and journalists had access to the vote-counting site and that there were as many surveillance cameras there as in a casino. In Allegheny County, a predominantly Democratic area that includes Pittsburgh, election workers were going through roughly 20,000 mail-in ballots and additional provisional ballots on Saturday, Rich Fitzgerald, the county executive, said in a televised interview.The county’s mail-in ballots have so far been won overwhelmingly by Mr. Biden, as have the provisional ballots. Mr. Fitzgerald cautioned that the last ballots to count would be the trickiest, requiring additional checks to ensure they were not duplicates, which could slow the process.- Advertisement –