State To Bail Out Hudson Valley From Local Storm Costs

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo will announce Wednesday that the state will pick up $14 million in local-government costs for five Hudson Valley counties damaged by tropical storms Irene and Lee last year.

The announcement will provide state assistance to Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Westchester and Rockland counties, according to a news release obtained by Gannett’s Albany Bureau.

In total, the five counties sustained nearly $112 million in damage from last summer’s storms, Cuomo said.

The announcement, to be made later Wednesday, comes after Cuomo last week that the state would pick up $61 million in local-government costs for 25 counties in the Southern Tier and the Catskills from the storms.

“Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee devastated parts of the state, and this money is to make sure localities are not hit with a one-two punch as they get back on their feet,” Cuomo said in a statement obtained by Gannett’s Albany Bureau.

“After these storms swept through the state, New Yorkers were the first to pitch in to help their neighbors and now, by covering local costs, the state is doing its part to help local governments rebuild and recover.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) usually covers 75 percent of eligible disaster response and recovery costs. The remaining 25 percent is split between the state and localities.

Local governments have been urging the state to pay for their local 12.5 percent share. Cuomo announced last week that a combination of state and federal aid will fund the local governments’ share.

Cuomo said the tropical storms were among the largest disasters in state history. The state estimates the damage will exceed $1.6 billion statewide and has involved about 15,000 separate response and recovery projects.

The damage in Dutchess County totaled $6.4 million, and the state is picking up the $805,000 local share.

The damage in Orange County totaled $55.7 million, and the local share was nearly $7 million.

Putnam County sustained $7.6 million in damage, Cuomo’s office said. The state is picking up the $955,000 local share.

In Rockland, the damage is estimated at $23 million, with the local share at $2.4 million. In Westchester, the damage was $19 million, with a cost of $2.4 million for local governments, Cuomo’s office said.

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  1. Whitney Plaine on

    Typical bureaucratic response – too late and not enough. Many of us lost tens of thousands in property and possessions through no fault of our own, had flood insurance and still get screwed. We pay thousands in premiums to get back hundreds. Do us a favor and just go away, like most of the businesses and neighbors have done!