The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that President Bush has ordered the release of federal disaster funds for New York to help meet the recovery needs of people and communities in the area struck by floods earlier this month.
Michael Brown, under secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the President authorized the assistance under a major disaster declaration issued following a review of FEMA’s analysis of the state’s request for federal aid. The declaration covers damage to private and public property from severe storms and flooding that occurred over the period of April 2-4.
After the declaration, Brown designated the following 11 counties eligible for federal aid to stricken residents and business owners: Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Orange, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Tioga and Ulster.
The assistance, to be coordinated by FEMA, can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
In addition, Brown said federal funds will be provided for the state and affected local governments and certain private non-profit organizations to pay 75 percent of the eligible costs for emergency work and the restoration of damaged facilities in the counties of Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Greene, Montgomery, Orange, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Sullivan, Tioga and Ulster.
Brown said the declaration also makes federal funds available to the state on a cost-shared basis for approved hazard mitigation projects. He indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Marianne Jackson of FEMA was named by Brown to coordinate federal recovery operations.
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