Emergency Disaster Declaration Approved, Federal Funding for Several Hudson Valley Areas Secured
After feeling the after effects of Tropical Depression Ida, and the unprecedented rainfall that it brought to the Hudson Valley, a welcome sign of hope in the form of an approved Emergency Disaster Declaration for New York was announced on Friday.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Friday, September 3, that President Biden had approved the Emergency Declaration, that would provide up to $5 million in immediate federal funding to support ongoing response and recuse operations. The Emergency Declaration comes before a traditional Disaster Declaration.
In the Hudson Valley, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester are all covered by the declaration, as well as Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, and Suffolk.
During the same announcement, Governor Hochul also made it clear that FEMA will work with the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, alongside local partners to start the process of an expedited damage assessment. This, a direct request from the Governor, is required for a Major Disaster Declaration.
In general, an Emergency Declaration can be declared in a situation where the President determines that federal assistance is needed, and will provide additional assistance to state and local efforts. Any single emergency is permitted to receive up to $5 million in authorized funding, the amount that NY received today.
If a state received an Emergency Declaration, that does not mean it does not qualify then for a Major Disaster Declaration. What is the difference? A Major Disaster Declaration is there to provide a wider range of federal assistance programs for both individuals and public infrastructure. In order to be the recipient of such funds, 'an accounting of damage is required and both the state and impacted counties each have thresholds that must be met in order to qualify for assistance.' The threshold is $30,036,058, with each individual county having their own threshold to be met. The Governor has requested that assessments begin today, September 3rd, and be expedited.
In the meantime, Governor Hochul is requesting that local officials within each of the impacted counties in NY continue to partner with their County Emergency Managers to submit resource needs to the state's web-based system called NY responds. This is also where they can share timely emergency-related information.
Restoration efforts continue across the state from several emergency response teams at the local and state level.