November 13, 2014

Governor Cuomo Announces Aid to Help Communities Rebuild Following Last Year's Damaging Storms

Governor Cuomo Announces Aid to Help Communities Rebuild Following Last Year's Damaging Storms

State Will Assume Local Portion of FEMA Public Assistance Costs in 17 Counties Across New York

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced State assistance for storm recovery efforts to communities in 17 counties across New York that were impacted by the Upstate flooding of June 26 – July 10, 2013 and Winter Storm Nemo of February 2013. The State will relieve local governments of their entire required share of FEMA Public Assistance Program costs to minimize the financial impact on local taxpayers.

"Local governments throughout these regions were left with significant recovery costs in the aftermath of extreme weather, but today the State is stepping forward to help them build back better than before," Governor Cuomo said. "By alleviating the financial burden imposed by Mother Nature last year, we're clearing the way for local governments to focus on improving storm resiliency with the next storm in mind. That will mean safer communities in the future, and I am proud that the State is helping to make that happen."

Communities across New York sustained significant damage from the February and June 2013 storms. In response, the federal government has committed to funding 75% of eligible recovery and resiliency project costs, while local governments were initially responsible for paying the remaining 25% of costs. To lift the burden of local governments of covering these costs, the State is today assuming the 25% of costs.

Governor's Office of Storm Recovery Executive Director Jamie Rubin said, "As we continue to make headway on the State's recovery following Sandy, Irene and Lee, we have seen the short-term and long-term benefits of helping our communities rebuild and become more resilient. By reducing the financial burden on our local governments, we can advance and improve the recovery process for all those affected by the Upstate flooding and Winter Storm Nemo."

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jerome Hauer said, "The Federal Public Assistance program is essential for municipalities to get back on their feet after a declared disaster. By providing the non-federal cost share, these communities will be better able to continue to provide daily services as they repair their damaged infrastructure."

The FEMA Public Assistance Program provides reimbursement for local government activities such as debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair and rebuilding of publically-owned infrastructure that was damaged including roads, schools bridges, parks, hospitals, police stations, fire houses, water and waste water treatment facilities and other public facilities.

The following counties are eligible for State assistance:

Winter Storm Nemo (February 8 - 9, 2013):

  • Suffolk County

Upstate flooding of June 26 – July 10, 2013:

  • Allegany County
  • Broome County
  • Chautauqua County
  • Chenango County
  • Clinton County
  • Cortland County
  • Essex County
  • Delaware County
  • Franklin County
  • Herkimer County
  • Madison County
  • Montgomery County
  • Niagara County
  • Oneida County
  • Otsego County
  • Warren County

The State funding is managed by the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery and the FEMA funding is administered by the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

About the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery

Established in June 2013, Governor's Office of Storm Recovery coordinates statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. Though the NY Rising Housing Recovery, Small Business, Community Reconstruction and Infrastructure programs, the Office invests more than $4 billion made available through Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery Program to better prepare New York for future extreme weather events.

Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office:  212.681.4640

Albany Press Office:  518.474.8418