August 30, 2011

Schumer, Gillibrand Urge President & FEMA To Approve Emergency Declaration For Capital Region & North Country Counties

Schumer & Gillibrand Write to President in Support of A Federal State of Emergency Declaration for Albany, Essex, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren & Washington Counties; Cite Dangers of Significant Rainfall And Flooding From Irene

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand called on President Obama to approve New York State’s anticipated request and declare a federal state of emergency for Albany, Essex, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington Counties in light of the severe flooding following Irene. In their letter to the President, the Senators pointed out that other New York counties have already been declared eligible for emergency assistance, and that the flooding throughout the Capital Region and North Country clearly warrants the same emergency designation there.

“Flooding from the Hudson, Mohawk and Au Sable Rivers and their tributaries has caused severe damage throughout the Capital Region and North Country,” said Schumer and Gillibrand. “These counties deserve the same federal emergency resources that other communities are getting, so that they too can prevent injuries and property damage, and help minimize further flooding. We strongly urge the President to grant this designation and approve New York State’s anticipated request as quickly as possible, so that federal emergency crews and equipment will get to these communities in time to prevent further damage.”

A federal state of emergency declaration would allow FEMA to initiate emergency protective measures in the Capital Region and North Country, for the purpose of saving lives, protecting public health and safety, and preventing damage to public and private property. Specifically, a state of emergency declaration signed by the President would allow FEMA to assist with: warning devices (barricades, signs, and announcements), search and rescue efforts, construction of levees, shelters and emergency care centers, and providing of food, water, ice and other essential needs, among other things.  

A copy of Senator Schumer and Gillibrand’s letter to President Barack Obama appears below:

August 30, 2011
 

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

 

The Honorable W. Craig Fugate
Administrator
Federal Emergency Management Agency
US Department of Homeland Security
500 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20472

 

Dear President Obama and Administrator Fugate:

 

            Thank you for approving New York’s request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration (EM-3328) for Bronx, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties.

 

            As indicated by FEMA Deputy Administrator Serino, the Albany to New York City corridor was the hardest hit of all New York. Included in this corridor, but not included in the amended emergency declaration, are Albany, Essex, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington Counties. Record breaking rainfall caused the Hudson, Mohawk and Au Sable Rivers and their tributaries to reach unprecedented levels, forcing home evacuations, emergency rescues, and causing millions of dollars in likely damages.

 

        At this time, we urge that you amend EM-3328 to include Albany, Essex, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties. Supplemental federal assistance, specifically Public Assistance Category B, Emergency Protective Measures, is absolutely necessary in order to meet pre-positioning and readiness requirements that have overwhelmed state and local resources.

 

        Thank you for your consideration of this important request. Please contact Grant Kerr at 202-224-6542 if you have questions or need additional information.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Charles E. Schumer                                              Kirsten E. Gillibrand