Governor Hochul Announces Federal Approval for Major Disaster Declaration in Wake of Ida Flooding
New York (STL.News) Governor Kathy Hochul today announced President Biden approved an expedited Major Disaster Declaration that will help provide for federal financial relief for local governments and New Yorkers and deliver individual and public assistance for eligible New Yorkers recovering from the flooding damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida.
The counties covered by the declaration for individual and public assistance include: Bronx, Queens, Kings, Richmond and Westchester. At this time, New York County is included for public assistance only. The Governor will continue to work with FEMA and federal, state, and local partners to ensure New Yorkers get the additional relief that they need.
New Yorkers who have been displaced, including uninsured families, will be eligible for funds for housing assistance, as well as crisis counseling, unemployment assistance, home repairs and legal services.
“I saw the devastation of New Yorkers who lost so much from this storm, and I pledged that we would do everything in our power to help them rebuild,” Governor Hochul said. “I thank President Biden and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell for their swift approval of a Major Disaster Declaration, which provides a promise that we will build back better and stronger. Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and the entire New York Congressional delegation have provided vital help and support for our state, and I thank them for their tireless efforts. I look forward to touring disaster areas with President Biden tomorrow and will continue to work with FEMA and our members of Congress to ensure New Yorkers get the relief they need from the devastating impacts of this horrible storm.”
A Major Disaster Declaration triggers financial assistance from the federal government, allowing local communities and individual New Yorkers to continue their recovery. Assistance includes funding for emergency protective measures, debris removal and repairs to public buildings and infrastructure, as well as direct support for individuals and homeowners. New Yorkers may also be able to receive funds for other uninsured or under-insured disaster-caused expenses and serious needs, such as repair or replacement of personal property or funds for moving and storage, or medical, dental, and child care. Homeowners and renters should make every effort to document their losses.
Eligible homeowners will work directly with FEMA to obtain funding. Assistance can include funds for temporary housing units, housing and driveway repairs, crisis counseling, unemployment assistance and legal services.
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services deployed specialists to assess damage in order to apply for federal disaster aid. The state remained in constant contact with FEMA and local partners throughout this process to push for an expedited review on the federal side once the preliminary damage assessments were finalized.
As a result of these efforts, in just the first initial days of assessments, state and federal experts have estimated that this storm caused more than $50 million in damage to public infrastructure and property, while in excess of 1,200 residences suffered damage.
Funding to support the restoration of public infrastructure will come through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, which provides reimbursement for local governments after a disaster has been declared by the President for activities such as debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair and rebuilding of publicly-owned infrastructure that was damaged including roads, schools, bridges, parks, hospitals, police stations, fire houses, water and waste water treatment facilities and other public facilities.
Yesterday, Governor Hochul announced the launch of the new online resource hub for impacted New Yorkers, available at ny.gov/ida. The hub provides information on available assistance programs and where to find services such as shelter and access to food. The information on the site will be updated as more resources for New Yorkers become available. Additionally, the State is partnering with New York City to support the Ida Recovery Service Centers. These centers enlisted the support of elected officials who represent impacted communities and will offer information on all available resources and assistance.
Governor Hochul also directed that $378 million in previously-awarded hazard mitigation funding from FEMA be devoted to bolstering New York State’s infrastructure against extreme weather.
The Governor is encouraging local officials in the impacted counties continue working with their County Emergency Managers to submit any resource needs directly into NY Responds, the state’s web-based system that enables both local governments and state agencies to submit and share vital emergency-related information and resource requests.