July 22, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Federal Approval of Major Disaster Declaration to Unlock Federal Assistance for Communities Impacted by Devastating Flooding

Governor Hochul Announces Federal Approval of Major Disaster Declaration to Unlock Federal Assistance for Communities Impacted by Devastating Flooding

Declaration Provides Critical Funding for Local Governments Recovering from Devastating Flooding Caused by Recent Heavy Rainstorms

Public Assistance Available for Local Governments in Clinton, Dutchess, Essex, Hamilton, Ontario, Orange, Putnam, and Rockland Counties

Further Assistance to Individuals and Additional Counties Remains Under Federal Review

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that President Biden approved her request for a Major Disaster Declaration to provide federal assistance to communities impacted by flooding from heavy rainstorms across much of Upstate New York. The declaration releases critical federal assistance to support recovery and reconstruction efforts in Clinton, Dutchess, Essex, Hamilton, Ontario, Orange, Putnam and Rockland counties. These counties now have access to financial support for debris removal, emergency protective measures and repairs to public buildings and infrastructure. New York has also engaged with the U.S. Small Business Administration to pursue low-interest recovery loans for impacted businesses. Further assistance to individuals and additional counties across the state still remains under federal review at this time.

"After devastating floods caused extreme damage across Upstate New York this month, I'm thankful President Biden has approved my request for a Major Disaster Declaration," Governor Hochul said. "My administration will work directly with FEMA in the coming weeks to ensure our local government partners receive the critical funding they need to begin the recovery and rebuilding process."

A Major Disaster Declaration secures financial assistance from the federal government, primarily through FEMA's Public Assistance Program, to provide funding to local governments, tribes and eligible non-profits for debris removal, protective measures, and repairs to buildings and infrastructure, including roads, bridges, water and wastewater treatment facilities, critical infrastructure sites, schools, parks and other facilities.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "This declaration unlocks federal funding critical to the recovery of the communities devastated by this month's catastrophic flooding. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Hochul and the support of President Biden and our federal partners, these communities can now begin to plan their long-term recovery and New York will remain at their side to help however we can."

From July 9 - July 10, more than eight inches of rain was reported in parts of the Mid-Hudson Region and more than five inches of rain in Ontario County, in the Finger Lakes Region. From July 10 - July 11, parts of the North Country saw several inches of rain in a short period of time, which caused devastating flooding, closing roadways and damaging infrastructure across impacted regions.

In advance of the storm, Governor Hochul directed State agencies to prepare emergency response assets and stay in constant communication with local governments to monitor weather impacts and respond to requests for assistance. As the storms moved across the state, the Governor continued to deploy disaster resources to impacted areas, including additional Department of Transportation staff, who worked to get State highways and bridges open as quickly as possible.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, "The historic rainfall that battered communities in the Hudson Valley, and across Upstate New York from the Finger Lakes to the North Country earlier this month resulted in a once in a generation flooding event causing millions in widespread damage, and millions of dollars in expected repairs. I fought non-stop to elevate the voices of our impacted communities to the highest levels of government, personally writing to both the FEMA Administrator and President Biden, because I knew our state needed this funding, and this is a critical step on the long road to recovery from this devastating storm. I sincerely thank President Biden for heeding my calls to ensure communities across New York impacted by this historic flooding have the support they need to rebuild stronger than ever, and I will continue to fight to deliver all of the federal support needed to the Hudson Valley and Upstate New York."

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "I am grateful President Biden has heeded my call to approve a Major Disaster Declaration for flood-affected counties in the Hudson Valley and the North Country. This declaration will provide desperately needed federal assistance and get the region on the road to recovery. I will continue to work with the White House and with local partners to make sure the additional counties across the state have what they need to build back stronger."

Representative Patrick Ryan said, "The last few weeks have been devastating and heartbreaking for our community, especially for families in Highland Falls, Fort Montgomery, and Cornwall. I'm proud to announce that desperately-needed federal assistance is on the way," said Congressman Pat Ryan. "I want to thank President Biden for swiftly approving the declaration, Governor Hochul for mobilizing an effective state-wide response, and our local leaders, especially Orange County Executive Neuhaus, for their incredible work on the ground. I'll keep fighting until everyone impacted has the resources they need and deserve."

Representative Lawler said, “Today's approval of disaster assistance for Rockland, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties will provide much needed relief to help these communities recover. However, we must continue to work together to ensure that all of our communities impacted by the flooding get all of the resources they need to recover and rebuild.”

State Senator James Skoufis said, "Orange County's municipalities are facing a long road to recovery in the wake of this month's unprecedented rainfall and flooding, and FEMA's Major Disaster Declaration will unlock much needed resources for our elected officials to do the hard work of rebuilding. I am grateful to Governor Hochul, our federal partners, and the Biden Administration for recognizing and acting on this critical need. We must continue to pursue avenues for individual homeowners to get the help they deserve in the weeks and months ahead, but our municipalities will have a strong partner in FEMA as Orange County rebuilds."

Assemblymember Chris Eachus said, "It is with sincere thanks to Governor Hochul, Congressman Pat Ryan, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and our president of the United States, Joe Biden for the declaration of emergency for the Mid-Hudson Valley so that those impacted by the disaster on Sunday and Monday, June 9th and 10th will be able to receive critical assistance for their damages. I will continue to stand committed with my colleagues in government, my constituents, and municipalities to give any and all assistance in this time of need."

Dutchess County Executive William F.X. O'Neil said, "We greatly appreciate the assistance from the state and federal government. This declaration will allow local municipalities impacted by devastating flooding to repair and restore critical infrastructure. We are grateful for the diligent efforts of our municipal leaders and state representatives who reacted quickly and efficiently to get the necessary documentation and triage immediate needs, notably Pawling Town supervisor James Schmitt. We will continue to work with state officials and FEMA reps to secure assistance for individuals and businesses as well as work with NYS DHSES and FEMA's mitigation team so we not only repair damaged areas, but we also can take action to prevent similar issues in the future."

Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said, "I am happy to hear that the major disaster declaration has been made for Orange County communities impacted by flooding earlier this month. This is another important step in the recovery process and this additional funding will assist us as we recover. I will continue to work with Governor Hochul and advocate for Federal assistance as we rebuild after the storm."

Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne said, "I'd like to thank President Biden for approving the federal Major Disaster Declaration that will enable FEMA to offer critical financial disaster relief funding to various municipal governments suffering from storm damage. I'd also like to thank Governor Hochul, her staff and team at the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services for working jointly with our team at the Bureau of Emergency Services during the storms and recovery efforts. Every representative from Putnam's state and federal delegation took time to reach out and offer support in the aftermath of the storms, and we thank them all, but we also recognize we still have a long way to go before all repairs and mitigation efforts are completed. Many homeowners are still hurting from storm damage. We will continue to work with our partners at the state and federal government to give them what they need to bolster their efforts to bring back additional relief."

Rockland County Executive Ed Day said, "We acknowledge Governor Kathy Hochul and federal officials for moving this forward. We are satisfied to see help is coming to municipalities. Small businesses can also seek relief through low interest loans through the SBA. We are hopeful there will be more accommodation made for residents."

Clinton County Chair Mark Henry said, "Clinton County recently experienced a serious flooding event which severely damaged private property, municipal and county infrastructure. We are very pleased to learn that President Biden has signed the Emergency declaration making Clinton County eligible for aid. We thank the President and Governor Hochul for this important assistance."

Essex County Chair Shawn Gilliand said, "Essex County is extremely appreciative of the Federal Disaster declaration for Essex County from the recent powerful storms that affected our infrastructure and damaged property. Thank you the Biden Administration and the Governor Hochul for the steadfast support."

Hamilton County Chair Brian Wells said, "Hamilton County is proud to share the announcement that we have been notified that we will be receiving personal assistance through FEMA and the speed and support from our federal government is a testimony of what makes America truly great."

Additionally, Governor Hochul deployed staff from the State Department of Financial Services (DFS) to affected areas to provide assistance to residents affected by the flooding in filing insurance claims. Individuals can also call the DFS Disaster Hotline at (800) 339-1759.

About the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter and Instagram, or visit dhses.ny.gov.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418
New York City: (212) 681-4640

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