Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce FEMA Approves Additional Public Assistance for Severely Impacted Counties

Jul 29, 2013

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that FEMA has added Broome, Chautauqua, Clinton and Essex Counties to the disaster declaration following heavy rain and flooding last month, making the counties eligible for public assistance, including: debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities.

Senators Schumer and Gillibrand have continually advocated for the federal government’s support for flood-ravaged communities in the wake of the extreme storm that struck upstate New York in late June.

“We are pleased that FEMA has made Broome, Chautauqua, Clinton and Essex counties eligible for federal Public Assistance, which will help them make repairs and rebuild from the storm in late June,” said Schumer. “This federal disaster assistance is necessary because it will give reassurance to our communities that the federal government will be there to help as they continue their response efforts and begin to recover from the storm.”

“From the North Country to the Southern Tier, no one can question the severity of this massive storm or the suffering these communities have endured,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We need any available federal assistance to continue the hard work of cleaning up and rebuilding. These federal funds will go a long way to help our communities stand strong.”

Broome, Chautauqua, Clinton and Essex Counties are among the communities of upstate New York hit by the heavy rainfall of June 27 and 28. For example, Broome County estimates about $1 million in damage from this storm. At the height of the storms, over 13,000 New Yorkers were without power. Significant flooding caused by the overflowing of the Mohawk River due to heavy rainfall has ravaged 15 counties, forced hundreds to evacuate from their homes, destroyed countless amounts of personal property, and rendered critical infrastructure such as water treatment plants, power stations, and canal locks inoperable or significantly damaged.

Through the public assistance program, FEMA provides reimbursement funding for eligible projects including those related to debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain Private Non-Profit (PNP) organizations. The PA Program also encourages protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process. This reimbursement program is a cost share program, with the Federal government covering at least 75 percent of eligible costs.