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 Home > News & Policies > August 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 29, 2003

Statement on Federal Assistance for New York
Statement by the Deputy Press Secretary

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of New York and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes on July 21, 2003, through August 13, 2003.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Livingston, Montgomery, Ontario, Rensselaer, Schuyler, Steuben, and Yates Counties.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is available to State and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis for the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged by the severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes in the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, Livingston, Montgomery, Ontario, Schuyler, Steuben, and Yates.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-share basis for hazard mitigation measures.

Representing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Department of Homeland Security, named Justo Hernandez as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be designated for assistance after the assessments are completed.

The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.