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Last Summer, Tropical Storm Fred Ravaged Steuben County and Several Upstate Communities, Devastating Homes, Businesses, Infrastructure And Notably Severely Damaging The Jasper-Troupsburg High School, Forcing Students To Relocate And Closing The School 

Senators Say FEMA Funding For School Is Key First Step For Reimbursing For Tremendous Costs Incurred From The Flooding And Restoring School For The Students & Community 

After securing a federal disaster declaration for Tropical Storm Fred for Steuben County, unlocking critical federal aid to bolster the Southern Tier’s flood recovery, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded $5,630,020 to cover the Jasper-Troupsburg Central School District for Emergency Protective Measures. The senators explained that the storm resulted in the Jasper-Troupsburg High School becoming inundated with nearly four feet of water, mud, and debris causing severe damage and forcing the building to close and students to relocate. This funding, provided at a 90% federal cost share, will reimburse the school for costs from emergency cleanup and restoration measures taken to protect the buildings from further damage from the flood.

“The people of Steuben County were completely devastated by Tropical Storm Fred’s heavy rains and historic flooding, especially the Jasper-Troupsburg High School. This federal funding will go a long way in helping to make the school district whole again and reimburse them for the emergency measures they took to prevent further damage from the flood,” said Senator Schumer. “I will not stop fighting to help the Jasper-Troupsburg Central School District and all of Steuben County gets every penny it is entitled to for them rebuild, recover and restore their facilities so students can come home to their school.”

“Tropical Storm Fred ravaged Steuben County last August, causing millions in damages to the region’s homes, businesses, and schools,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Ever since the tremendous impact of the storm became clear, I have been fighting to get federal relief to the county, and now, I’m proud to be delivering over $5 million to the Jasper-Troupsburg Central School District. I’ll keep fighting to make sure Steuben County makes a full recovery.”

“Thank you to Senator Schumer for all of the support your office has provided to the Jasper-Troupsburg Central School District as we continue to recover from the devastating flooding that occurred in our community almost a year ago,” said LeeAnne Jordan, Superintendent of Jasper-Troupsburg Central School District. “Your assistance with moving projects through the allocation process has been especially appreciated, and has resulted in an expedited review of Emergency Work performed by ServPro. Receiving the news that the $6.3 million project is likely to be reimbursed prior to the expiration of the Revenue Anticipation Notice that is due in just a few weeks is cause for relief, since it means that our district will not have to renew the RAN and incur additional interest expenses. This one act alone has saved the Jasper-Troupsburg Central School District close to $200,000. On behalf of the district, thank you for your service to our community. Your dedication to resolving our concerns was above and beyond anything that we had expected, and truly shows the genuine interest you have in our students.”

Steuben County was particularly battered by Tropical Storm Fred, which wreaked havoc across New York State. During the storm, New York received over 7 inches of rain in three days, with 24-hour totals exceeding 3 inches in many locations and one receiving over 5 inches, making it one the wettest summers in the region. Swift Water Rescue Crews had to be deployed to assist dozens of residents evacuate their homes and take refuge in shelters. In the Southern Tier, rushing floodwaters damaged hundreds of homes, businesses, roads, bridges, and were so powerful they even caused a train to derail.

Specifically, this over $5 million in funding will cover deep cleaning of the facilities that was required after the flooding, water that needed to be pumped out, debris removal, and other restoration efforts taken to prevent further damage within the building.

In the wake of Tropical Storm Fred, Schumer and Gillibrand have a long history of fighting to deliver robust federal resources to Steuben County to help communities recover. Immediately after the storm the senators sprung to action advocating for the community and sending a letter directly to President Biden urging him to approve a major disaster declaration in Upstate New York, and secured that declaration later that year making today’s funding possible. These efforts have directly resulted in millions in hazard mitigation grants being made available to impacted communities from Tropical Storm Fred, federal disaster loans for Private Non-Profit organizations in the area providing aid, and emergency funding to homeowners impacted by the flood.

A copy of Schumer and Gillibrand’s original letter requesting a disaster declaration appears below:

Dear President Biden:

We write in strong support of the State of New York’s request for a major disaster declaration for the widespread damage and flooding caused by heavy rains on August 18, 2021 and continued until the morning of August 19, 2021.

This severe storm caused significant damage across Upstate New York, including sustained damage leading to displaced residents, uninhabitable homes, the closure of schools, destroyed roads, and the tragic loss of life. A joint federal, state, and local Preliminary Damage Assessment revealed that costs exceeded $36.2 million in public infrastructure damage.

Reflecting the statewide damage from these heavy rains and flooding, Governor Kathy Hochul requested a major disaster declaration on September 17, 2021, pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (P.L. 93-288), including Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs statewide and Public Assistance for Allegany, Cayuga, Cortland, Lewis, Oneida, Steuben, Tioga, and Yates counties and Individual Assistance for the Individuals and Households Program including Other Needs Assistance, Crisis Counseling, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Case Management, Disaster Legal Services, and SBA Disaster Assistance for Steuben County.

There is no doubt that this damage has overwhelmed state and local governments, and that a major disaster declaration is necessary. Federal assistance programs will be critical, so that our communities can recover from the flood damage. We thank the Governor and the State for their work thus far and strongly support the request for a major disaster declaration in the areas impacted by this storm event.  

We appreciate your swift attention and consideration of this request and stand ready to work with you and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency to deliver support and resources to the impacted communities.