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Combined Disaster Assistance To Western New York Will Top $45 Million

Release date: 
November 16, 2009
Release Number: 

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. -- More than $45 million in federal disaster assistance is funding the recovery efforts in six western and central New York counties hit hard by the severe storms and flooding of Aug. 8 - 10.

Nearly $4.4 million has been granted to individuals and households; disaster loans total more than $3.5 million, announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Public Assistance (PA) -- aid that helps rebuild public infrastructure -- will total more than $40 million once completed.

The federal disaster declaration made Public Assistance available to the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chenango, Cortland, and Erie; Individual Assistance (IA) was available to three of those counties: Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Erie. The declaration included the Seneca Nation of Indians for both IA and PA.

Some statistics from the recovery efforts for Individual Assistance, as of Nov. 12:

  • 1,535 individuals registered for disaster assistance
  • More than $4.1 million was disbursed to help survivors with temporary housing and home repairs; the average grant is $4,930
  • $294,785 was for Other Needs Assistance, which helps fund the repair or replacement of personal property and disaster-related transportation, moving, medical, dental, and funeral expenses. The average grant is $1,152
  • More than $3.2 million was approved in low-interest loans to homeowners through the Small Business Administration (SBA).
  • Another $590,200 was approved in SBA loans to businesses in the three affected counties.

The deadline for to register for individual assistance programs was Nov. 3.

In the PA categories, there were an estimated 1,100 projects from 136 eligible applicants approved for a total of more than $40 million.  As of today, more than $2 million in checks have been written to eligible applicants from the impacted counties. Not all public projects resulting from the disaster are completed at this time.

Public Assistance projects include repairs to roads, bridges, utilities, and other public infrastructure. FEMA picks up 75 percent of the cost and the remainder is paid for by the state and local or tribal government.

"We're glad to see these first steps to rebuild and repair infrastructure in impacted counties," said State Coordinating Officer John R. Gibb, who is also Director of SEMO. “There is a lot more work that will be done in the months to come."

FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Specialists provided more than 4,100 individuals with an estimated 12,000 publications as well as advice on lessening the impact of future disasters. The mitigation teams met with individuals at home supply stores throughout Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Erie counties.

"Recovering from a disaster is never easy," said Federal Coordinating Officer Jaime E. Forero.  "But we're confident that survivors have taken the important first steps towards renewing lives and property."

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capabilities to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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