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President Biden approves disaster declaration for WNY after Christmas blizzard

President Joe Biden has given his approval for a Major Disaster Declaration aimed at aiding the recovery of several New York communities that were impacted by the December storm.

The request for the declaration was made by Governor Kathy Hochul in February. The December storm, which was considered historic, caused 37 consecutive hours of blizzard-like conditions in Erie County, making it the longest recorded blizzard in the United States under 5,000 feet of elevation. The snowfall also broke records in Niagara County, while claiming the lives of 46 residents from Erie County and one resident from Niagara County.


The declaration will provide access to federal funding for funerals of those affected in Erie and Genesee counties. It will also cover the replacement of facilities damaged by the severe winter storm and snowstorm in Erie, Genesee, Niagara, St. Lawrence, and Suffolk counties. The funding will also go towards statewide hazard mitigation measures.

In Suffolk County on Long Island, the storm brought high winds and heavy rains that caused widespread coastal flooding. The flooding left debris damage and thousands of power outages due to damaged infrastructure. The tidal surges also caused significant coastal erosion in the area.



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