Washington, DC -- Federal disaster funds have been made available for New York State to help local governments in Erie County recover from the effects of last December's record snowstorms, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the assistance was authorized under a major disaster declaration issued by President Bush after a review of the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal relief. The declaration covers damage to public property from the snowstorms that occurred over the period of December 24-29.
Allbaugh, who designated the county eligible for the aid immediately after the declaration, said federal funds will be provided for the state and affected local governments to pay 75 percent of the eligible cost for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities. The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Peter J. Martinasco of FEMA was named by Allbaugh to coordinate federal recovery operations. Martinasco said procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected area.