April 15, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Applaud FEMA for Issuing First Round of Federal Aid in Wake of Major Disaster Declaration Following December’s Ice Storm

After urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue New York State a major disaster declaration following December's ice storm that caused nearly $27 million in damages, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today applaud FEMA for issuing the first round of emergency disaster aid. In February, Schumer and Gillibrand wrote a personal letter to acting FEMA Administrator Nancy Ward urging FEMA to issue a Major Disaster Declaration that would bring additional aid to the affected counties in Upstate New York to help pay for the damage from the storm. On March 4th, FEMA reversed its decision and issued a major disaster declaration for nine counties in New York. Today, after pushing to secure the federal aid, Schumer and Gillibrand applaud FEMA for issuing the first round of major disaster aid for nine counties in NYS.

"This critical assistance is coming just in time for the counties in the Capital Region and the Hudson Valley that were severely damaged in last December's storm," said Schumer. "These communities have sustained major damages and had been forced to foot the bill. I am so glad that I could help secure this first round of federal aid to the region to help get these counties back on their feet."

"The Capital Region and Hudson Valley were hit hard in December by ice storms. These federal dollars will go a long way to helping the communities and businesses get back on their feet. New York families are dealing with enough in this economy, they shouldn't be left holding the bag after natural disaster such as this," said Senator Gillibrand.

A disastrous ice storm hit the Northeast on December 11th, including multiple counties throughout Upstate New York. Reports indicate that this was the worst ice storm in over twenty years to hit New York's Capital Region and led to the tragic loss of three lives, widespread destruction and property damage. Damages are estimated to cost a staggering $27 million. At the height of the storm, nearly 300,000 New York homes and businesses were without power.

Recognizing the urgency and extent of the damage, Schumer and Gillibrand pushed for an immediate emergency disaster declaration from then President George W. Bush and former FEMA-Administrator R. David Paulison for the counties hit by the storm. Following their push, on December 18, President Bush issued an emergency declaration for the region which made available limited direct sources of federal assistance. However, assessments later revealed the full extent of the damages caused by the storm and many of the affected local communities still needed federal aid to offset the costs.

After meticulous damage assessments and at-length state consultations with regional FEMA officials, New York's Governor David A. Paterson submitted a request for a major disaster declaration with the understanding that the request had met all the necessary criteria for approval.  Despite the comprehensive work and assessments of local, state and federal officials, FEMA issued an inexplicable denial of federal aid through a major disaster declaration.

In an effort to help secure a major disaster declaration for the affected counties, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand wrote a personal letter in February to FEMA Acting-Administrator Nancy Ward asking for an immediate reversal of FEMA's unjustified dismissal of New York's application.

In March, FEMA reversed its decision and issued a major disaster declaration for nine of the counties hit by the storm including Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Washington Counties. Today, FEMA is releasing the first round of this federal Public Assistance. Public Assistance funds cover emergency protective measures, emergency services overtime and repair work to infrastructure damaged by the storm.

Schumer and Gillibrand added, "This funding will bring necessary and swift relief to communities and local governments struggling to repair damages caused by the storm."

The Breakdown of this round of funding is as follows:


County

Applicant

Amount

Albany

BETHLEHEM (TOWN OF)

$3,201.74

Albany

BETHLEHEM (TOWN OF)

$58,314.98

Albany

COLONIE

$32,238.77

Albany

COLONIE

$78,484.52

Albany

VOORHEESVILLE

$10,328.25

Albany

VOORHEESVILLE

$6,832.61

Albany

VOORHEESVILLE

$1,374.65

Albany

COEYMANS FIRE DISTRICT

$3,877.16

Albany

HELDENBERG AMBULANCE

$1,469.49



$196,122.17

Columbia

STUYVESANT FIRE DEPT

$5,420.22

Columbia

CANAAN (TOWN OF)

$1,705.52

Columbia

HILLSDALE FIRE CO

$1,312.10

Columbia

HILLSDALE (TOWN OF)

$8,997.60

Columbia

RED ROCK VOLUNTEER FIRE CO.

$2,817.53



$20,252.97

Delaware

HARPERSFIELD (TOWN OF)

$15,774.41

Delaware

MEREDITH (TOWN OF)

$6,386.10

Delaware

MEREDITH (TOWN OF)

$5,556.75

Delaware

MEREDITH (TOWN OF)

$38,296.26

Delaware

ROXBURY (TOWN OF)

$16,153.97

Delaware

ROXBURY (TOWN OF)

$7,257.92

Delaware

STAMFORD

$947.78

Delaware

STAMFORD

$7,573.04

Delaware

STAMFORD (TOWN OF)

$10,056.90

Delaware

DELAWARE (COUNTY)

$2,337.40



$110,340.53

Greene

ASHLAND (TOWN OF)

$2,916.17

Greene

ATHENS (TOWN OF)

$11,820.47

Greene

GREENVILLE CENTRAL SCHOOLS

$1,318.10

Greene

CATSKILL (TOWN OF)

$3,551.87

Greene

COXSACKIE

$13,806.68

Greene

COXSACKIE (TOWN OF)

$6,997.59

Greene

GREENVILLE (TOWN OF)

$14,724.42

Greene

HUNTER (TOWN OF)

$14,072.66

Greene

JEWETT (TOWN OF)

$19,083.86

Greene

LEXINGTON (TOWN OF)

$13,569.09

Greene

NEW BALTIMORE (TOWN OF)

$18,175.86

Greene

PRATTSVILLE (TOWN OF)

$7,706.27

Greene

TANNERSVILLE

$4,030.59



$131,773.63

Rensselaer

AVERILL PARK & SAND LAKE FIRE

$7,832.41

Rensselaer

NORTH GREENBUSH FIRE DISTRICT #1

$11,143.85

Rensselaer

BEST LUTHERAN FIRE DEPARTMENT

$10,566.86

Rensselaer

SCHODACK LANDING FIRE CO

$5,151.07

Rensselaer

SOUTH SCHODACK FIRE DISTRICT

$8,245.19



$42,939.38

Saratoga

NORTHUMBERLAND (TOWN OF)

$21,977.89

Saratoga

SARATOGA (COUNTY)

$140,769.46



$162,747.35

Schenectady

THOMAS CORNERS FIRE DISTRICT

$3,449.60

Schenectady

NISKAYUNA FIRE DEPT

$10,224.62

Schenectady

BEUKENDAAL VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT

$2,090.82

Schenectady

GLENVILLE (TOWN OF)

$2,361.79

Schenectady

GLENVILLE (TOWN OF)

$48,575.81

Schenectady

SCOTIA

$14,052.34

Schenectady

ROTTERDAM FIRE DISTRICT #6

$1,874.54

Schenectady

GLENVILLE FIRE DIST #2

$6,016.96



$88,646.48

Schoharie

SHARON SPRINGS CENTRAL SCHOOL

$1,718.75

Schoharie

ESPERANCE FIRE DEPT

$4,611.76

Schoharie

JEFFERSON FIRE DEPT

$3,072.08

Schoharie

SCHOHARIE (COUNTY)

$15,430.60

Schoharie

SCHOHARIE (COUNTY)

$36,088.28

Schoharie

SCHOHARIE (COUNTY)

$4,549.04

Schoharie

SCHOHARIE (COUNTY)

$4,852.49

Schoharie

SCHOHARIE (COUNTY)

$10,136.87

Schoharie

GALLUPVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT

$2,013.08



$82,472.95

Washington

CAMBRIDGE CENTRAL SCHOOL

$1,202.11

Washington

FORT EDWARD (TOWN OF)

$11,685.29

Washington

GRANVILLE

$6,268.43

Washington

KINGSBURY (TOWN OF)

$24,390.62



$43,546.45


TOTAL AS OF 4-15-09

$878,841.83


Press Contact

Capital Region and Hudson Valley Sustained Nearly $27 Million in Damages Due to December’s Devastating Ice Storm but FEMA Denied Recent NYS Application for Disaster Relief