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Hochul urges Biden to approve major disaster declaration for flood-stricken New York

Governor Kathy Hochul tours a storm damaged apartment complex in the Inwood section of Upper Manhattan Saturday September 4, 2021. The heavy rains of Tropical Storm Ida loosened the earth forcing part of a parking garage to collapse and damage a ground floor apartment on West 218th Street. It destroyed a passenger vehicle in the process.
Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of the Governor

Two days ahead of President Biden’s scheduled visit to flood-stricken areas of Queens, Governor Kathy Hochul asked the commander-in-chief on Sunday to approve a major disaster declaration for the borough and other areas hardest hit by the rainy remnants of Hurricane Ida.

The declaration would open the door for New York to receive numerous federal resources as individuals, businesses and governments recoup and rebuild from the damage caused by the flash floods that occurred between Sept. 1-2. The assistance includes emergency protective measures, debris removal, repairs, and direct monetary aid for residents and homeowners.

Federal funds would also cover “uninsured or under-insured disaster-expenses and serious needs,” according to Hochul, including repair or replacement of personal property, relocation and even medical, dental and/or child care.

Last week, Biden had indicated he would direct the federal government to deliver assistance to areas impacted hard by Ida — from where it made landfall in Louisiana last Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane, to the northeast U.S. which experienced flooding rains and even tornadoes days later.

“New Yorkers are still recovering from the damage across our downstate communities, and this request I signed and submitted to President Biden can secure the financial resources that are due to New Yorkers who suffered unimaginable devastation as a result of the storm,” Hochul said. “I have seen the heartbreak and pain of these families firsthand, and I pledge not to forget them and to ensure they get the resources they need to recover. Our recovery and support services teams remain on the ground, doubling down on our restoration efforts until New Yorkers are able to stand on their feet again.”

The Five Boroughs of New York City are included in the 13 counties of New York state for which Hochul is seeking the major disaster declaration. If approved, the Federal Emergency Management Agency would work directly with affected individuals and businesses in offering support and resources toward rebuilding.

Also on Sunday, Hochul announced the launch of a new website where impacted New Yorkers can seek state and federal assistance. Visit ny.gov/ida to learn information on assistance programs available to help you rebuild and recover from the storm.

New York state is also partnering with the city to operate the Ida Recovery Service Centers which opened in each of the five boroughs on Saturday. These centers provide New Yorkers hardest hit by the storm with one-on-one support toward applying for assistance. 

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