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FEMA issues disaster declaration for 11 upstate counties

WASHINGTON - New York State’s request for federal support to help communities across upstate New York recover from recent severe flooding has been approved. Specifically, the Major Disaster Declaration for 11 impacted counties includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Delaware, Herkimer, Lewis, Livingston, Ontario, Otsego, Steuben, and Yates. Back-to-back severe storms in May and June caused significant flooding, forcing residents to evacuate their homes, destroyed personal property, and damaged critical infrastructure such as roads, culverts, and power lines. The cost of damage to public infrastructure totaled approximately $28 million. The Senators urged FEMA to take immediate action and work with the affected counties and New York State to quickly approve this FEMA Declaration.

Severe storms, which occurred on May 13th and again on May 15-16, caused extreme flooding and extensive damage to public and private property across New York communities.  On May 14th, New York State declared a State Disaster Emergency for various counties, and certain municipalities were also declared local states of emergency. Farms were completely inundated for days, roads were closed, power lines knocked down, and highways were closed and thoroughly damaged. Sink holes opened up on area roads on properties and hundreds of vehicles and several commercial buildings collapsed or were washed away. With costs mounting for local municipalities, senators called for swift action to release much needed resources so that rebuilding efforts can begin.

“Cities and towns in eleven counties across Upstate New York were devastated by severe flooding earlier this year, and this disaster declaration will enable them to get the funds they still need to recover,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “I am pleased that FEMA has approved New York State’s application for disaster relief, as it is the federal government’s responsibility to step up to the plate and provide these cities and towns the resources they need to recoup the cost of the damages to their communities, roads, power lines and other critical infrastructure.”