Washington, D.C. -- Federal disaster funds have been authorized for New York communities hit by recent record snowfalls under an emergency declaration issued by President Bush, according to the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the President took the action last night after a review of the agency's analysis of the state's request for federal assistance. The declaration covers jurisdictions with record and near-record snowfall from winter storms that occurred last December 25-26 and January 3-4 this year.
Following the declaration, Allbaugh designated 17 counties eligible for federal funding to pay part of the cost for emergency protective measures undertaken as a result of the snowstorms. This includes state and local government operations needed to protect public health and safety and to prevent damage to public or private property.
Under the emergency declaration, FEMA will provide reimbursement to state and affected local agencies for 75 percent of the total eligible costs of equipment, contracts, and personnel overtime related to emergency services in dealing with the snow over a 96-hour period in the counties of Albany, Chenango, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Herkimer, Montgomery, Otsego, Schenectady, Sullivan and Ulster.
Reimbursement of eligible costs also will be provided for a 48-hour period in the counties of Broome, Fulton, Oneida, Orange, Saratoga and Schoharie.
Those time periods 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 will be eligible for reimbursement.
Allbaugh named Marianne Jackson of FEMA to coordinate the federal assistance in the affected areas.