08.04.17

IN ONE-ON-ONE MEETING, SCHUMER URGES FEMA ADMINISTRATOR BROCK LONG TO SWIFTLY APPROVE DISASTER DECLARATION FOR AREAS IMPACTED BY SEVERE FLOODING FROM LAKE ONTARIO

Senator To FEMA: Swiftly Approve Aid For Communities Ravaged By Lake Ontario’s Record High Water Levels

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, during an in-person meeting with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, urged him to swiftly review and approve New York State’s request for a major disaster declaration for communities affected by flooding along Lake Ontario. Schumer urged the Administrator to expeditiously review and recommend that the President approve the pending request from the state for a disaster declaration for municipalities affected by Lake Ontario’s continued flooding.

“During my meeting with FEMA Administrator Long I made it clear that residents and communities near Lake Ontario have been ravaged by severe flooding for months now, and it is crucial that FEMA act quickly to approve New York State’s request for assistance,” said Senator Schumer. “Flood waters and powerful wind-driven waves have hit these communities hard and they need additional resources to recover. That is why I made a strong case to FEMA Administrator Long to approve the state’s requests for a disaster declaration and federal assistance. 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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