U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says the federal government stands ready to help rebuild Vermont's roads and bridges that suffered enormous damage during last week's historic floods.
Monday afternoon, Buttigieg toured several communities in central Vermont with Gov. Phil Scott.
He said his firsthand experience in these towns highlighted the need for an urgent federal response to this crisis.
"When you see that hotel in Hardwick that was cut in half and carried down the river, when you see the railroad tracks coming out of Barre, where the track is still there but the ties are gone and you know a train won't be able to run over that, you see how urgent it is that these communities get the help that they need," Buttigieg said.
After viewing the destruction firsthand, Buttigieg met with reporters in a large state transportation garage in Berlin.
"As Vermont moves from the mode of immediate response to immediate recovery and does the hard work of rebuilding from this disaster," Buttigieg said, "I want to emphasize that the entire federal government, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, stands ready to assist any way we can."
Buttigieg encouraged both state and local officials to apply for special federal funds intended to help build a more resilient and stronger transportation system.
This story is a production of the New England News Collaborative. It was originally published by Vermont Public.