Syracuse, NY - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that another $9.6 million has been approved in response to the April 3-5 ice storm, bringing the total amount of federal disaster aid approved to more than $15 million.
"Almost 20,000 residents of central and western New York have applied for assistance and we are doing everything possible to make sure the financial help they need to recover gets to them as quickly as possible," said Marianne C. Jackson, federal coordinating officer for FEMA's disaster recovery operation.
Jackson urged anyone who suffered damage as a result of the ice storm to apply for help under the disaster assistance programs triggered when President Bush declared a major disaster in 15 counties at the request of Governor George E. Pataki.
Edward F. Jacoby, Jr., State Coordinating Officer and Director of the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO), said, "The help available to storm victims through these programs is crucial to getting communities back on their feet."
Included in the $9.6 million announced today is $8.1 million through the Other Needs Assistance (ONA) program to people in the eight counties declared eligible for Individual Assistance - Cayuga, Monroe, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego, Seneca and Wayne.
The ONA program, administered by the New York State Department of Labor, includes reimbursement for personal property losses; medical, dental, and funeral expenses; and/or damage to private vehicles. The federal government funds 75 percent of the amount distributed through the program and New York State funds the remaining 25 percent. The federal portion of the ONA funds approved for victims of the ice storm now totals $9.51 million.
State Labor Commissioner Linda Angello, said, "Governor Pataki acted quickly to make sure that New York State received much-needed federal aid in the aftermath of the April ice storms. The Department of Labor will continue to help those affected by this disaster and encourage all those in need of assistance to apply and make full use of the services provided by these programs."
Another $906,173 was also approved by FEMA this week for homeowners in the eight counties to repair damage caused by the disaster and temporary housing for persons forced to move from a damaged dwelling. Total funding through this program now totals $4.67 million.
The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reported that another $173,300 in low-interest disaster loans was approved in the last week, bringing the total amount of SBA loans approved for victims of the ice storm to $398,100.
Government entities and certain non-profit organizations in all 15 declared counties - Cayuga, Chenango, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Seneca, Schenectady, Wayne and Yates -- may be eligible to recover costs for measures taken to save lives, ensure public health and safety, protect property, remove debris and repair infrastructure under FEMA's Public Assistance program.
To date, a total of $607,787 in federal aid has been approved for applicants under this program. New York State reimburses applicants another 12.5 percent of eligible costs and the applicant funds the remaining 12.5 percent.
Following is a breakdown of approved federal disaster aid as of July 3, 2003:
- Other Needs Assistance: $9,513,649**
- Individual Assistance: $4,667,047
- Public Assistance: $607,787
- SBA Disaster Loans: $398,100
- TOTAL: $15,186,583
**Amount represents only the 75 percent federal share of the program. New York State provides additional funds equal to 25 percent of the total amount.