Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand, Tonko Announce Schoharie County to Receive Over $2.5 Million Disaster Funding for Irene Recovery

Sep 28, 2012

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand, and Congressman Paul Tonko announced two Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants totaling $2,508,821 to reimburse Schoharie County for cleanup costs associated with damage as a result of Tropical Storm Irene last August. The storm delivered massive amounts of rain and high winds to the entire Capital Region, which caused hundreds of thousands of residents to lose power. Schoharie County was particularly hard hit and experienced a great deal of uprooted trees, branches, limbs and other debris deposited on public roads, which cost more than $3 million to remove and clean up. 

“Schoharie County suffered immense damage as a result of last year’s storm and spent more than $3 million to clean up the damage on Hauverville and Bear Ladder Road,” said Schumer. “I applaud FEMA for doing the right thing by stepping up to the plate and covering a significant piece of these recovery costs. This will go a long way towards relieving Schoharie’s financial burden, which they should not have to shoulder on their own.” 

“These massive storms may be over a year behind us, but much of the damage is still here,” Senator Gillibrand said. “I traveled to Schoharie twice in the wake of these devastating storms and saw the damage firsthand. This funding will help our effort to clean up and rebuild key infrastructure so families and businesses in Schoharie County can continue on the path to recovery, and get back on their feet.”

“I always knew I represented a strong people, but I never knew the depth of that strength until these storms hit,” said Congressman Paul Tonko. “Today’s announcement is another positive step forward on the road to recovery. We will continue to fight for the necessary resources to ensure the people of the Schoharie Valley are able to rebuild and overcome these devastating storms.” 

Schumer, Gillibrand and Tonko announced that FEMA has agreed to reimburse Schoharie County for the federal share of two projects to help cover the cost of debris removal and other damages in the region. The first award provides the County $1,474,370 of the project’s total cost at $1,965,826, for repairs to damages to Hauverville Road (R19A) that resulted from flooding and high velocity flow across the road, shoulders, drainage ditches, drainage channels and streams. Hauverville Road is bordered by Lake Creek for much of its distance and there are numerous culvert and bridge crossings, and damages were located at 23 sites. Damages included the loss of roadway shoulder surface; the loss of rip rap at road and bridge embankments; damages to roadside, cross road culverts and headwalls; and the deposit of sediment and other material within roadside drainage ditches and culverts. 

The second award to Schoharie County is for a total of $1,034,451 of a project costing $1,379,268 total. Last fall’s severe tropical storms caused over topping of the Schoharie Creek, which washed out portions of Bear Ladder Rd CR 31. This funding will allow repairs and replacement of 7 culverts ((2)72IN, (3)24IN, (1)18IN, (1)15in), 2,264LF along the Guide Rail. It will also fund the removal of rock ledge scour, replacing Crusher Run, Rip Rap, and 5.5 miles of paved road surface.  

FEMA has agreed to cover 75 percent  of Schoharie’s total costs, or $2,508,821. Tropical Storm Irene caused serious damage to businesses, infrastructure and homes in Schoharie County. More than 13 inches of rain fell in the Catskills during the storm, and the Schoharie Creek overtopped its banks on August 28, and flooded through the streets of the village of Schoharie, picking up and distributing debris, chemicals, soil, gasoline throughout area homes, offices and businesses. In some cases flooding washed away entire city blocks. Town of Schoharie residents reported to local news outlets that they alone experienced up to $100,000 in personal or business damages, and Schoharie County as a whole suffered millions in damage.