Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday had asked Obama to declare a disaster and make 26 counties eligible for both individual and public assistance; the president’s declaration includes eight counties (including Dutchess and Ulster) for individual FEMA aid and 19 for public assistance, though the White House said in a release that more counties could be added later.
“I thank President Obama for his quick action granting New York a federal disaster declaration,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The damage incurred by Irene has devastated communities in counties across our State, leaving many without homes and towns and villages without essential public infrastructure. All levels of government are working together to help New York recover and we will not stop until the job is done.”
Individual FEMA aid provides relief funds to individuals and households, while public assistance reimburses municipalities and local governments for damage repair, as well as debris removal and protective measures.
Cuomo, meanwhile, will tour flood-ravaged Prattsville, Green County—which the governor said was the hardest hit in the state—with FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at 11 a.m. today.
Here is the initial list of counties that will receive federal aid:
· Individual Assistance (Assistance to individuals and households): Albany, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Ulster Counties.
· Public Assistance (Assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities): Albany, Bronx, Clinton, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Montgomery, Nassau, New York, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Schoharie, Suffolk, Ulster, Warren, and Westchester Counties. Direct federal assistance is authorized.