ALBANY, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has obligated more than $1 million to help Lewis, Oneida and Oswego counties recover from the record snow and near-record snow of February 2-12, 2007.
These monies are reimbursement to units of government and certain private non-profit organizations for the costs of emergency protective measures, including snow removal, to save lives and to protect property, and public health and safety.
The total obligated so far is $1,017,135. This includes $191,016 for projects in Lewis County, $477,099 for projects in Oneida County, and $349,020 for projects in Oswego County.
This represents 75 percent of the cost of approved disaster assistance to date. The remaining 25 percent will be paid by the State of New York. Federal and state teams are continuing to work with local applicants to identify reimbursable expenses.
"This money is to help the counties recover from an extraordinary event," said Federal Coordinating Officer Marianne C. Jackson of FEMA. “We will keep working until every eligible dollar has been documented and paid.”
President Bush’s February 23 emergency declaration at the request of Governor Eliot Spitzer designated three counties that experienced record or near-record snowfall eligible for financial assistance for snow removal expenditures incurred during a 48-hour period as selected by the applicant. The counties designated for snow removal financial assistance are Lewis, Oneida and Oswego.
“It has been a difficult year already for weather events in New York,” said State Coordinating Officer John R. Gibb, Director of the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO). “The snow may be gone, but the bills remain. That is why the counties are getting this help from SEMO and FEMA.”
Public Assistance funds are available to state and local governments and certain private non-profits to respond to and recover from disasters. PA funds may be provided to reimburse costs incurred for emergency actions taken during and immediately after a disaster to protect life and property.
FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.