Disaster Assistance to New Yorkers Nears $35M

September 14, 2005

Disaster recovery assistance from early April flooding in New York, which led to a presidential disaster declaration April 19, has reached nearly $35 million, according to state and federal officials.

In all, 3,421 New Yorkers registered for assistance. Total assistance to residents, business owners and government agencies stands at $34,901,446. The registration period has ended.

Renters, homeowners and business owners in Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Orange, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Tioga and Ulster were eligible for state and federal help with disaster related damages.

The Individual and Households Program (IHP) includes Housing Assistance and Other Needs Assistance. A total of $7,975,068 in IHP assistance was granted.

Housing Assistance may include repair assistance and temporary rental assistance. The total approved for housing was $5,058,081. Other Needs Assistance includes medical, dental and funeral expenses; furniture, clothing and certain appliances, and vehicle costs. That program granted a total of $2,916,987.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low interest disaster loans to renters, homeowners and businesses. SBA approved 231 loans to individuals and 38 loans to businesses totaling $9,301,300.

As part of its response to the disaster, FEMA established Disaster Recovery Centers in the six hardest-hit counties to make program experts available to answer questions and help victims through the registration process. Those centers were open for differing periods between May 2 and June 18, and assisted more than 1,300 people in Broome, Cortland, Delaware, Orange, Tioga and Ulster counties.

In a partnership with the State Emergency Management Office and building supply stores, FEMA also sent mitigation outreach teams to meet directly with shoppers to disseminate flood-protection information. Those teams were at stores from May 7 to June 19 and assisted more than 1,800 New Yorkers in Binghamton, Cortland, Glenmont, Johnson City, Kingston, Middletown and Vestal.

The disaster declaration made 20 counties — Broome, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chenango, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Greene, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Sullivan, Tioga, Ulster and Westchester — eligible for the Public Assistance program. The program provides reimbursements to government units and certain private non-profit organizations for emergency protective measures taken in response to the storms and flooding, the repair of damaged infrastructure and for disaster related debris removal.

To date, FEMA has approved $17,625,078 in public assistance reimbursements for the following:

Broome County: $1,813,100
Cayuga County: $543,246
Chautauqua County: $401,932
Chenango County: $1,052,613
Columbia County: $469,792
Cortland County: $675,661
Delaware County: $2,897,659
Greene County: $1,143,799
Madison County: $442,153
Montgomery County: $72,281
Niagara County: $9,414
Orange County: $1,727,958
Otsego County: $453,911
Putnam County: $57,112
Rensselaer County: $320,867
Schoharie County: $96,377
Sullivan County: $2,220,354
Tioga County: $414,684
Ulster County: $1,656,425
Westchester County: $76,136
State Agencies: $1,079,605.

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