U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today urged FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate to approve New York State’s request and declare a federal state of emergency for Sullivan County in light of the severe storm damage in the Hudson Valley. In their letter, the Senators highlight the destruction Hurricane Sandy caused in Sullivan County, including loss of electricity, and significant damage to businesses and homes, all of which clearly warrants the same major declaration as neighboring counties. Specifically, Schumer and Gillibrand are requesting approval of the state’s request for FEMA Individual Assistance and Public Assistance, Categories A-G, for Sullivan County.
“The federal government must have all hands on deck to pave the road to recovery for Sullivan County residents and businesses in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,” said Senator Schumer. “I am urging FEMA to waste no time approving the state’s request for a major declaration in Sullivan County, which will help assure our municipalities, families and business owners that the federal government will be there for them as the region rebuilds.”
“Hurricane Sandy left a trail of destruction in its wake that sadly didn’t spare families and businesses in Sullivan County,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Wherever New Yorkers are suffering, we can’t let anything stand in the way of our effort to clean up and rebuild. Let’s make this disaster declaration official for Sullivan County and bring all necessary federal resources to bear without delay.”
Sullivan County experienced significant damage to roadways, public and private infrastructure and power lines. Hundreds of roads have been closed due to downed trees and power lines, and thousands of residents are still going without power.
A copy of the Senators’ letter appears below:
Dear Administrator Fugate,
We are writing in strong support of New York State’s request to add Sullivan County to Major Disaster Declaration FEMA-4085-DR. Specifically, we support the state’s request to add Individual Assistance and Public Assistance (Categories A through G). This request is necessary to meet the urgent needs of the residents of this county, who experienced significant amounts of damage due to Hurricane Sandy. It is our understanding that this request is currently under review by FEMA and we urge its immediate approval.
It is clear to us that the amount of damage experienced by the residents of Sullivan County will exceed the county disaster thresholds. Sullivan County has experienced significant damage to roadways, public and private infrastructure, and power lines. Throughout the county, hundreds of roads had to be closed due to downed trees and power lines. Additionally, thousands of residents are still without power more than a week after the storm hit. Local and state officials have expressed to us that FEMA assistance is urgently needed to effectively respond to the impacts of this storm and protect public safety.
We are grateful for the prompt attention that you and the entire federal government have given to quickly responding to this disaster, and for your commitment to cutting bureaucratic red-tape so that assistance can be provided as quickly and efficiently as possible. In that spirit, we strongly urge you to approve this request.