- Associated Press - Saturday, June 15, 2019

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A federal disaster declaration will make six counties eligible for federal aid for damage caused when heavy rain and snowmelt caused dangerous flooding in April in Vermont.

President Donald Trump on Friday made the formal disaster declaration for Vermont’s Bennington, Essex, Orange, Rutland, Washington and Windsor counties.

Heavy rains and snowmelt caused flooding that led to road closures, some evacuations and a rescue from a flooded parking lot. A preliminary assessment by the Federal Emergency Management Agency identified more than $2 million in eligible public infrastructure damage, more than double the minimum for a disaster declaration.

“The areas of greatest impact included many small towns with limited transportation budgets,” Gov. Phil Scott said in a statement. “This will help them rebuild roads and other infrastructure without experiencing a long-term financial strain on their town budget.”

At Killington Ski Resort, a snowboarder who was sleeping in his sport utility vehicle awoke in the night to rising floodwaters and was rescued by an emergency crew in a boat.

The flooding marked the first time since Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 that floodwaters from the White River rose onto Route 107 in the Bethel-Stockbridge area. The 2011 flooding destroyed much of the major east-west highway in the area. It was rebuilt to withstand future flooding.

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