08.21.21

SCHUMER AND GILLIBRAND LETTER URGING FEMA TO STAND READY TO QUICKLY APPROVE POTENTIAL DISASTER DECLARATION FOR NEW YORK IN ANTICIPATION OF HURRICANE HENRI

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Congressman Gregory Meeks, U.S. Congressman Tom Suozzi, and U.S. Congresswoman Kathleen Rice today sent the following letter to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell:

Dear Administrator:

We write in strong support of communities in New York ahead of what is predicted to be severe weather. We urge the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to stand ready, if requested, to work with affected counties and New York State to respond to the impacts of this storm and if the state requests it, to make assistance available through a pre-disaster declaration as expeditiously as possible.

Hurricane Henri first formed on August 14, as a small low-pressure area over 200 miles northeast of Bermuda. The storm then moved through above average temperature Atlantic waters, picking up strength to become a tropical storm a few days later. A little before 11:00 AM on August 21, the National Hurricane Center announced the storm had strengthen to become a Category 1 hurricane. According to the latest projections, Hurricane Henri will likely make landfall somewhere along the middle of Long Island. With high speed winds, projected rainfall pockets of up to 10 inches, and 3 to 5 feet of storm surge coupled with a full moon high tide, the impact on Long Island, New York City, and the surrounding coastal communities could be devastating. Further complicating matters, recent storms have left the ground close to saturated, and with fully leafed trees, experts are predicting that numerous downed trees could lead to significant power outages, possibly lasting more than a week in some places. New York has not been hit by a storm of this magnitude since Hurricane Sandy, and following on the recent experience with Hurricane Isaias last year combined with the forecasts for this hurricane, New Yorkers are understandably concerned ahead of this storm. Therefore, we urge FEMA to stand ready to approve any pre-disaster declaration request that may come from New York State, and provide any and all assistance available to New Yorkers should the storm impact New York.

We are grateful for the prompt attention that the federal government has historically give in responding to disaster impacting New York State.  In that spirit, we strongly urge you to approve any forthcoming requests for FEMA assistance from New York State as affected communities begin their recovery from these storms. 

Sincerely,

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