Washington, DC -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today designated four additional counties in western New York eligible for federal assistance under the emergency declaration issued for the state by President Bush on January 1 as a result of the record snowstorms that hit the area late last month.
The counties designated by FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh include Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee and Wyoming. Allbaugh said the assistance was approved following a review of snowfall data submitted by the state. The counties previously designated for emergency snow aid were Erie and Niagara.
"We remain committed to providing assistance wherever it's warranted to help protect property and ensure public health and safety," Allbaugh said.
Affected local governments in the four additional counties are eligible to apply for federal funding to pay 75 percent of the total approved costs of equipment, contracts, and personnel overtime related to emergency services in dealing with the snow for a 120-hour period. These are the crucial hours when work crews clear snow from emergency routes and roads to critical facilities to permit the passage of emergency vehicles. Related emergency protective measures such as sanding and salting, search and rescue, shelter operations, and police and fire department response also are eligible for reimbursement.