Cuomo Announces Approval Of Major Disaster Declaration Request For Chautauqua, Cattaraugus Counties

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his June 16 request to President Obama for a federal major disaster declaration has been approved for Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Delaware, Herkimer, Lewis, Livingston, Ontario, Otsego, Steuben and Yates Counties following severe storms and flooding in May that caused serious damage and destruction in communities in central and western New York.

“I am very pleased that President Obama has responded to the state’s request and issued a major disaster declaration to help communities in central and western New York, as well as the Southern Tier, recover following the recent storms and flooding,” Cuomo said. “This declaration will bring much needed federal financial assistance to localities that have endured serious hardship and destruction, and help provide for vital repairs following some of the worst flooding these communities have experienced in decades.”

The storms and flooding, which began on May 12, affected a large portion of New York state, particularly these 11 counties where heavy rains fell in some areas at rates of 5 to 7 inches in less than three hours. Roof collapses occurred on homes and businesses with numerous evacuations occurring and over all, more than 6,500 homes and businesses were without power and over 130 families sustained significant property damage.

Cuomo declared a State Disaster Emergency within impacted areas on New York State on May 14 and local States of Emergency were declared in Yates County, Cattaraugus County, the Village of Penn Yan, the Village of Gowanda, the Town of Jerusalem and the Town of Sanford.

As a result of the damage caused by these storms, Cuomo requested technical assistance in the form of a joint State/FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA), which was completed on June 11. Results of this PDA validated state and county expenditures of more than $28 million in response and recovery efforts.

The president’s action makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms.