(Woodstock, VT)—Tropical Storm Irene damaged a significant portion of Town infrastructure across the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee region. During the storm, countless undersized culverts were severely damaged or destroyed, leading to many roads being washed out isolating residents and disrupting economic activity. Many towns need thorough culvert inventories to lessen vulnerability to extreme rain events and will use these inventories for town budgeting purposes. Prioritized lists of culvert improvements address these vulnerabilities and improve water quality at the same time.

TRORC identified this unmet need and sought funds from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Fund to assist twelve Towns in the TRORC region. The scope of work will include updating GPS locations of culverts, updating culvert attributes (size, condition and material based on Vermont Agency of Transportation standards), and creating new maps. According to Peter Gregory, Executive Director of TRORC, “We are pleased to be able to match a need in our communities with an opportunity like this. Once completed, public investments will be strategic, ensuring the best possible improvement in emergency preparedness and will enable a predictable expenditure of funds”.

These inventories will play an important role for Towns applying to future grants in transportation, hazard mitigation, water quality and eligibility for FEMA reimbursements. TRORC is also working with communities to update their local Hazard Mitigation Plans, Local Emergency Operations Plans and working with town highway departments to be compliant with VTrans Town Road and Bridge Standards. This two year project will serve a significant portion of the TRORC’s member towns.

Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission is one of eleven regional planning commissions in the state of Vermont. TRORC’s mission is to advocate for the needs of our member towns and to articulate a vision and carry out actions that build a thriving regional economy while enhancing the quality of life for its citizens.

Download official press release here: TRORC CDBG DR Press Release August 2014