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President Trump approves New York disaster declaration

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Wed, Nov 15th 2017 11:00 am
On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump declared a major disaster exists in the state of New York and ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by flooding from May 2 to Aug. 6.
Federal funding is available to the state and to tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the flooding in the counties of Jefferson, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence and Wayne.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Brock Long, administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Seamus K. Leary as the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under Trump's disaster declaration:
Assistance for State, Tribal and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:
•Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state, tribal and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
•Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private nonprofit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
•Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state, tribal and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
How to Apply for Assistance:
Application procedures for state, tribal and local governments will be explained at a series of applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.
Congressman Chris Collins commended FEMA for approving the disaster declaration for flooding along the Lake Ontario shoreline. This flooding, he said, has been attributable to the "failed Plan 2014 that leaves the south shore of Lake Ontario in danger of historic erosion." Collins has been working closely with the Trump administration to make sure this declaration was a priority amongst requests for other devastating disasters across the country.
"We have witnessed awful devastation along the shoreline and have stayed persistent in our fight to secure federal assistance," he said. "My constituents desperately need this support and I thank the Trump administration for its commitment to Western New York."
"Today's news means that those impacted will have access to the wide-ranging disaster assistance FEMA can provide, but we will continue working with the administration to make sure new IJC commissioners will be appointed to put an end to Plan 2014," Collins added.
He has met with both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, sharing his concerns about Lake Ontario's shoreline flooding, the IJC and Plan 2014. Staff from the Collins office and the White House have been working closely since the request for a disaster declaration was issued to make sure this funding was secured.
Monroe County remains under review and Collins said he will continue to work toward a resolution. He has received support from state and local leaders in highlighting these needs.
"This is great news for Niagara County and it's lakeshore residents that have sustained serious property damage along our shoreline," said William Keith McNall, chairman, Niagara County Legislature. "Niagara County sincerely thanks Congressman Collins for his several trips to view lakeshore conditions and property damage through the last several months. Niagara County recognizes and appreciates Congressman Collins' persistent and unending efforts in trying to attain this funding that is so important to lakefront communities, for which Niagara County is very grateful."
"Congressman Collins has once again proven his ability to serve his constituents to the highest degree by steadfastly pleading our region's case to his colleagues on Capitol Hill. We greatly appreciate his efforts and recognize we couldn't do it without him," Niagara County Legislator John Syracuse said.
"We are very pleased with the FEMA declaration being made. Hopefully, this will be the last time we need a declaration for these reasons," said E. John DeFilipps, Chairman, Orleans County Legislature.
"I know I speak for lake-shore residents, small businesses and local governments when I thank Congressman Collins for his hard work to ensure New York gets the federal resources it desperately needs for flood recovery. As lake levels recede, we're still fully assessing the damage. FEMA aid will be a critical step as we help devastated home and business owners and as we rebuild our communities," New York State Sen. Robert Ortt said.
"FEMA's decision today is a monumental step for our communities who have been living with the damage done by Lake Ontario's flooding since last winter. While the damage was certainly unparalleled, this funding will undoubtedly help NY state continue helping those in need. I commend FEMA for its decision and I thank Congressman Collins for all of his hard work during this time and in making this funding a reality," Assemblyman Steve Hawley said.
"FEMA's approval of the disaster declaration for flooding is very welcome news to the residents and businesses that have endured the devastation of the extreme high water levels of Lake Ontario's south shores. I applaud President Trump for his action and Congressman Chris Collins for his tireless advocacy on behalf of these communities. I will continue to work hard fighting for the necessary funding and resources to make our shoreline communities whole," Assemblyman Mike Norris said.
"Congressman Collins has led our NORA (Niagara Orleans Regional Alliance) fight from day one for our lakeshores, to Washington, and back through Albany. These monies are desperately needed to offset the horrendous expense incurred by this man-made disaster created by the IJC. We thank you Congressman Collins," Niagara County Legislator David E. Godfrey and Orleans County Legislator Lynne M. Johnson said in a joint statement.

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