WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) — State and federal disasters are planning to begin the process of determining whether Vermont will qualify for federal disaster assistance in the aftermath of a series of storms that hit the state earlier this month.

Starting Thursday, officials from Vermont Emergency Management, the state Transportation, Federal Emergency Management Agency and others will begin verifying the damage caused by the storms that hit May 4.

The assessments will in communities in Chittenden, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange, Orleans, and Washington counties. Additional counties could be added if more damage is discovered.

Preliminary estimates are that Vermont will exceed the $1 million threshold needed to quality for assistance through a presidential disaster declaration.

If a disaster declaration is issued, communities and utilities could receive federal funds to help meet the repair costs.