Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today marked the upcoming one-year anniversary of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee by issuing a comprehensive report "NY Responds" detailing the more than $574 million in state aid that has been distributed in the past year to help communities across New York rebuild and recover.
Over the past year, more than $277 million was provided in direct aid programs for families, individuals, businesses, farms, and localities throughout the state, including $137 million to the seven hardest hit counties: Broome, Delaware, Essex, Greene, Orange, Schoharie and Tioga. To date, 774 farms and 741 businesses have received direct aid from the state.
"Today we recall the devastating storms that hit New York last summer, causing massive destruction to homes and communities across the state," Governor Cuomo said. "A year later, we remember the extraordinary response efforts of the thousands of brave men and women in emergency services, law enforcement, and the National Guard who put their lives on the line to protect countless New Yorkers. For all of the destruction and damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, these storms could not break the kindred spirit of New Yorkers, and in the aftermath we experienced an unprecedented outpouring of good will with neighbor helping neighbor and communities coming together to rebuild as one."
In addition, to continue the state's long-term commitment to rebuilding communities affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee and preparing for future emergencies, the Governor today announced a series of new measures for affected localities, including: $2.4 million for dam repairs; $500,000 to assist businesses and homeowners in the hard-hit Town of Prattsville; $145,000 in grants to first-responder organizations in Schoharie County; an initiative to improve cell phone coverage in the Northern Catskills; and additional federal funding to cover un-met individual needs of storm victims across the state.
On August 24, 2011, Governor Cuomo activated the State Emergency Operations Center to prepare for Hurricane Irene. The storm hit New York on August 28, and Tropical Storm Lee reached the state on September 7. The NY Responds report documents the series of programs created by New York State to assist individuals, families, businesses and municipalities in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The report is available here: http://www.governor.ny.gov/assets/documents/Irene-Lee-One-Year-Report.pdf
A breakdown of state aid distribution is listed below:
Number of Programs
Total Awarded Statewide
Individuals and Families
Transportation Costs (some may be federally reimbursed)
NYS Direct Aid Programs:
Disaster Emergency Furnace Repair (HEAP):
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP):
CSGB Disaster Relief (DOS):
Household Appliance Rebate Program (NYSERDA):
Food Stamp Benefit (OTDA):
State and Local Shares of FEMA Aid:
Neighborhood Rebuilding Corps. (DOL):
Community Recovery Grants (DOS):
Agriculture Disaster Energy Efficiency Program (PSC, NYSERDA):
ACRF Soil and Water Conservation
ACRF Farm OperationMatch
ACRF Capital On-Farm Needs
ARCF Main Street Business Assistance
Business Flood Recovery Grant Program (ESD)
Hurricane Emergency Loan Program - HELP (EFC)
Flood Mitigation Grant Program (DEC)
NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection program Local Match
A breakdown of aid by county is available here: http://www.governor.ny.gov/assets/documents/stormreportcharts.pdf
In addition, $297 million was spent by the state to restore roads and bridges. As a result of the Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee events, more than 400 road segments and bridges were closed on the state highway system. Ten days after Hurricane Irene, the State Department of Transportation (DOT) had re-opened all but 13 bridges and 19 road segments, and nine days after Tropical Storm Lee, DOT had re-opened all but 8 bridges and 15 road segments. In February, Governor Cuomo announced that all roads and bridges that were closed as a result of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee had been reopened.
To expedite repair work to vital infrastructure, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 19 immediately after the storms, authorizing DOT to use the design-build process which allowed for the combining of design and construction services into single contracts. Projects such as the Route 42 reconstruction would have taken an extra six months to complete under standard construction methods.
Additional Aid to Help Businesses and Homeowners in Prattsville Rebuild
The Governor today announced an additional $500,000 in NYS Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, through NYS Homes and Community Renewals (HCR) Office of Community Renewal, to help businesses and homeowners in the Town of Prattsville. The grants will help businesses return to a state of operational capacity as just prior to the storm, including funds for inventory, machinery, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, as well as helping homeowners rebuild and rehabilitate homes damaged by the floods. Grants to business and homeowners will be made based upon unmet needs as supported by an application and review process. An additional $500,000 is being held in reserve to be used if necessary.
The Town of Prattsville, in Greene County, was hit particularly hard by Hurricane Irene. Major flooding occurred when the Schoharie Creek rose over 15 feet in less than 12 hours.
HCR Commissioner/CEO Darryl C. Towns said, "While many upstate towns faced torrential flooding one year ago, Prattsvilles challenges were especially great. A year later, we are proud to give further support so that the town can continue to recover, rebuild and be, as Governor Cuomo has said, even better than before."
Funding to First-Responder Organizations in Schoharie County and Measures to Improve Area Cell Communications
The Governor today announced measures to improve emergency response efforts in the Schoharie and Northern Catskill region, including more than $145,000 in grants to area fire and rescue squads to purchase equipment, as well as measures to ensure that cell service is strong enough in the region to meet the challenges of clear and effective communications in the event of future emergencies.
As a result of needs identified during last summer's storms, the state through the New York Power Authority (NYPA) put in place a one-time funding program for large equipment and other items that will help staff at the Blenheim-Gilboa hydroelectric project and first responders in the surrounding communities respond during any future emergency. The recipients of the $145,000 in grants will be volunteer fire departments and rescue squads from the towns of Blenheim, Conesville, Grand Gorge, Jefferson and Middleburgh.
NYPA also plans to issue a Request for Proposals to improve cell-phone coverage primarily along the Route 30 corridor from Grand Gorge to Middleburgh, helping address shortcomings in area cell communications that became apparent during last summers storms. An appropriately sized plot of NYPA land will be made available to the selected bidder for a commercial cellular communications service facility.
The Governor today announced that residents of 34 counties affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee are now eligible for additional individual-based services, including referrals for basic unmet needs (food, shelter, seasonal clothing), support to address physical, emotional, and financial needs, and assistance in obtaining other needed services or resources.
The services federally funded through Phase II of the Disaster Case Management (DCM) program. Phase II of the DCM program is available in all 34 counties declared for Individual Assistance under the Presidentially-declared disaster for Irene and Lee. The DCM Phase II program is administered through the New York State Office of Emergency Management and is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
New York State is working with its managing agent, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, to provide management structure for the program as well as case managers. The DCM program will also be working in association with the Crisis Counseling Program, which was instituted following the two storms: Project Hope (Hurricane Irene) and Project Renew (Tropical Storm Lee) will continue to provide crisis counseling in 15 of the hardest-hit counties through November 2012.
$2.4 Million in NY Works Contracts for Dam Repairs
The Governor today announced that $2.4 million in NY Works contracts were awarded to four New York engineering firms to provide engineering assessments on 21 dams across the state. These assessments will determine the repair work that needs to be performed on the dams.
The engineering assessments will review downstream hazard conditions and assess the dams hydraulic and structural capacity and overall condition. The consultants will also prepare Emergency Action Plans and Inspection and Maintenance Plans for each dam. The assessments will determine the repairs that will made to the dams.
The Department of Environmental Conservation entered into a contract with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York to manage the design, construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the dams. DASNY has contracted with Stantec Consulting Services Inc. for eight projects totaling $1,025,900; URS Corporation for six projects totaling $715,000; OBrien and Gere Engineers Inc. for four projects totaling $478,600; and Dewberry Goodkind Inc. for three projects totaling $161,300 to perform the engineering assessments.
Once the engineering assessments are completed, designs will be developed to repair any noted deficiencies at the dam sites through the NY Works program. While some repair work could take place later this year, it is expected that any major construction required to correct deficiencies will take place in 2013.
DEC owns 577 dams statewide. Of the DEC-owned dams, DEC engineers classify at least 24 dams as "high" and "intermediate" hazard structures, where failure poses serious threat to human life or significant property damage.
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, "The states dams are in need of repair to ensure they will continue to operate as designed decades ago. The assessments are the first step in the repair process and will put engineers to work across the state."
DASNY President Paul T. Williams, Jr. said, "DASNY is pleased to offer its design and construction management expertise for these critically important New York Works projects. Our collaboration with DEC will help ensure safe, timely and efficient completion of these repairs."A list of the 21 dams where engineering assessments will be performed is below.
Engineering Assignment Value
Stantec Consulting Services
Nanticoke Creek Site 3 Dam
Harwood Lake Dam
Balsam Swamp Dam
Howard Jeffrey Dam
Jackson Pond Dam
Long Pond Dam
Avon Marsh Dam
Main Mill Dam
Palmer Lake Dam
Stewart's Landing Dam
Lens Lake Dam
OBrien & Gere Engineers
Papish Pond Dam
Bog River Dam
Lows Lake Dam
White Pond Dam
Waneta Lake Dam
Alder Lake Dam
Senator Tom Libous said, "Dams are our first line of defense against disastrous flooding and we need to keep them properly maintained. I applaud Governor Cuomo for prioritizing these engineering assessments in Broome and Chenango Counties and making sure our infrastructure is sound moving forward."
Senator James L. Seward said, "One year removed from the devastation of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee and many communities are still rebuilding. New York State government has been on the front lines every step of the way, partnering with local officials, business owners and families as they restore their lives. I am pleased Governor Cuomo is continuing to offer assistance to the hardest hit, and look forward to the continued rebirth of the storm-stricken region."
Senator Betty Little said, "Starting on the day the storm hit last year, Governor Cuomo and his administration have been proactive and steadfast in their support of our North Country emergency responders, local elected officials, families and businesses. Recovery efforts continue today as does that same spirit of cooperation and teamwork. The state funding, expert advice from our commissioners and their staffs and willingness to cut through red tape and expedite projects has speeded the recovery and helped our communities come back stronger."
Assembly Member Donna Lupardo said, "As our community continues to rebuild one year after the flood, any assistance that mitigates future devastation is essential. I applaud the governor for investing in prevention through these repairs to our dams."
Assembly Member Teresa Sayward said, "The announcement of over $574 Million in State Aid granted over the one year since Hurricane Irene is comforting news. Nearly a half a million in dam repairs in Clinton, Essex and Warren Counties alone. This funding has helped our communities begin to put their lives back together after this devastating storm. Thank you to Governor Cuomo and our local officials for working so hard to keep the aid moving quickly to those areas of need."
Assembly Member Pete Lopez said, "For those of us who have lived through the devastation of Irene & Lee, it is as if a year has been ripped away from our lives. I have been greatly encouraged by the strong partnership my office continues to enjoy with Governor Cuomo and his administration. Their responsiveness and out-of-the-box thinking continue to make a difference for the people of New York. If you can imagine, half of my calls are still related to flood recovery. People are still homeless. Businesses are still dark. Entire communities continue to suffer. Im dedicated to seeing those impacted by the floods regain their footing and am confident the Governor and his team will continue to be at our side for as long as it takes to bring our communities back."
Wayne Speenburgh, Chairman, Greene County Legislature, said, "Greene County, particularly the Town of Prattsville, saw firsthand the devastation caused by Irene. I thank Governor Cuomo and his administration for their aid and support during this past year. No one could have done a better job. Their commitment has never been forgotten and we look forward to continuing to partner with them as we continue to rebuild."
Randall Douglas, Chairman of the Essex County Board of Supervisors & Town of Jay Supervisor, said, "New York State has been a strong partner in helping the Town of Jay and Essex Countys recovery efforts. Every step of the way, Governor Cuomo and his administration have been there to lend a hand as we continue to rebuild and move past the damage that Irene brought to our communities."
Harold Vroman, Chairman of the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, said, "I am proud of the Progress that Schoharie County has made toward recovery from the tragedy of last year. The outpouring of support from Governor Cuomos office and his commissioners, private companies, as well as volunteers, was awesome. The support from the state helped give the county hope that there will be brighter days and there has been. We still have a long road to go, but I am proud to say that the state has not forgotten us and has continued to be our biggest supporter in our rebuilding efforts. I cannot say thank you enough to the Governor for his diligent effort in bringing back this amazing county."