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Biden approves major disaster declaration for New York, aiding in flood recovery efforts in Ontario County

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  • Staff Report 

President Joe Biden has approved a Major Disaster Declaration for several New York counties impacted by recent severe flooding, as announced late-Saturday by Governor Kathy Hochul. The declaration opens access to critical federal assistance for recovery and reconstruction efforts in Clinton, Dutchess, Essex, Hamilton, Ontario, Orange, Putnam, and Rockland counties. This aid includes financial support for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repairs to public buildings and infrastructure. Assistance for individuals and additional counties remains under federal review.

Governor Hochul expressed her gratitude towards the President, stating, “After devastating floods caused extreme damage across Upstate New York this month, I’m thankful President Biden has approved my request for a Major Disaster Declaration.” She confirmed her administration’s commitment to work directly with FEMA to ensure local government partners receive the necessary funding to kickstart recovery and rebuilding processes.

The Major Disaster Declaration brings federal financial aid primarily through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. This funding is directed towards local governments, tribes, and eligible non-profits for removing debris, protective measures, and repairing infrastructure, including roads, bridges, water and wastewater treatment facilities, critical sites, schools, parks, and other facilities. Jackie Bray, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner, emphasized the importance of this declaration in the recovery of communities affected by the month’s catastrophic flooding.

The approval of the disaster declaration comes in response to heavy rainstorms that caused extensive damage in the state. Governor Hochul has been actively responding to the disaster, directing state agencies to prepare emergency response assets, monitoring weather impacts, and deploying disaster resources to affected areas. Both U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand expressed gratitude towards the President for granting the aid necessary for New York’s recovery.

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