08.03.17

IN ONE-ON-ONE MEETING, SCHUMER URGES FEMA ADMINISTRATOR BROCK LONG TO STAND READY TO SWIFTLY APPROVE DISASTER DECLARATION FOR UPSTATE NEW YORK COUNTIES IMPACTED BY RECENT THUNDERSTORMS AND SEVERE FLOODING

Schumer To FEMA Boss: Stand Ready To Approve Aid for Upstate New Yorkers

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, during an in-person meeting with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, urged him to stand ready to swiftly review and approve any forthcoming requests from New York State for a major disaster declaration following recent thunderstorms and severe flooding in Upstate New York last month. Schumer pushed the Administrator to stand ready to expeditiously review and support any forthcoming requests from the state for a disaster declaration for counties that were impacted by severe storms and repeated flooding. Communities across Upstate New York – from the Southern Tier to the Mohawk Valley and through the Capital Region – have experienced severe thunderstorms and flash flooding during the month of July, which have saturated the ground and put communities at continual risk of even more flooding. Some areas were hit with as much as 6 inches of rain on July 1st and have continued to see heavy rains throughout the rest of the month.

“During my meeting with FEMA Administrator Long I made it clear that residents across Upstate New York were ravaged by thunderstorms and severe flooding last month and it is crucial that FEMA be ready to quickly support any requests for assistance from the state,” said Senator Schumer. “These communities have been hit hard, again and again, and they need additional resources to recover. That is why I made a strong case to FEMA Administrator Long to support any forthcoming requests for a disaster declaration and federal assistance that come to his desk. Administrator Long was attentive, well-prepared and I appreciated the time we spent together to review New York’s needs.”  

Schumer explained that, if a disaster declaration is made grant assistance would be made available to state and local governments, as well as certain non-profit organizations, to reimburse costs incurred for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities. This funding is available on a cost-sharing basis; FEMA generally covers 75% of the eligible costs for permanent and emergency work.  After any severe storm the first step in the declaration process is for the state to request a Preliminary Damage Assessment, during which FEMA representatives join state, local, and other officials to survey damage across storm-impacted counties to help determine whether the cost of the disaster meets the criteria for a federal disaster declaration. Schumer urged FEMA Administrator Brock Long to be prepared to support any requests for aid from New York State.

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