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New York challenges FEMA’s denial of aid to flood-hit Ontario County

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul confirmed on Thursday that New York state has contested the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) September resolution not to provide individual assistance to homeowners in Orange and Ontario counties.

These residents suffered considerable losses due to flooding in July, compelling Hochul to declare a state of emergency.

In August, Rep. Pat Ryan, D-N.Y., along with other state authorities, lobbied for individual relief for the affected homeowners. Such aid would have offered direct financial support, facilitating the repair or reconstruction of flood-damaged homes and businesses.

However, after evaluating various levels of assessments, FEMA concluded that the aftermath of the floods did not justify individual assistance. This decision has left numerous families in Orange County grappling with the flood’s ramifications, some even rebuilding their homes entirely.

While criticizing FEMA’s decision, state Sen. James Skoufis, representing New York’s 42nd District, expressed his gratitude to Governor Hochul for challenging the verdict. Meanwhile, the Hudson Valley region has benefited from other relief measures. In July, the White House acknowledged New York’s major disaster declaration, ensuring emergency funds for restoration activities in several counties, including Orange and Ontario.