Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved over $49 million in reimbursements for recovery and mitigation work related to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee for the New York State Canal Corporation. Damages have been estimated to total $80 million.
This funding will provide significant financial assistance to the New York State Canal Corporation in its work to repair damages caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee along the Erie Canal, Governor Cuomo said. With this aid, we can maintain the important role that this waterway plays in New Yorks economy, tourism and recreation industries.
This is a major step in building New Yorks Canal System back stronger than ever, said Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. Our canals are a vital resource for upstate New Yorkfrom serving as a tourism destination for thousands to its place as an economic engine with an annual impact of $380 million. This federal assistance will now give us the opportunity to restore what was lost and begin a new chapter in the history of New Yorks canals.
In the months following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, the Canal Corporation identified seven projects between Lock 8 (Scotia) and Lock 12 (Fort Johnson) that were eligible for FEMA claims. The work, which includes structural repairs, paving, concrete work, pier construction, and erosion control, is estimated to cost $65,766,063. FEMA reimbursements will cover $49,324,547 of the cost.
Additionally, the Canal Corporation was awarded $4.2 million in reimbursements as part of its $34 million flood mitigation project to reinforce the eight movable dams in the Mohawk Valley.
Through the Public Assistance Program, FEMA provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged and publicly owned facilities. The federal share of assistance is not less than 75 percent of the eligible cost for emergency measures and permanent restoration.