[NYSEMA-Announcements] Governor Requests Disaster Declaration For Lake Effect Snow Storm

A. Wesley Jones awjones at nysema.org
Thu Dec 11 18:48:45 UTC 2014

Governor Cuomo Requests Federal Approval For Major Disaster Declaration Due to Severe Lake Effect Snow Storm
Public Assistance Requested For Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Orleans, St. Lawrence and Wyoming Counties  More Than $46.6 Million in Verified Damages from Historic Lake Effect Storm
   Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today requested a major disaster declaration be issued for Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Orleans, St. Lawrence and Wyoming counties due to the significant lake effect snow storm and flooding that occurred from November 18-26. State and local governments had more than $46.6 million in response costs and infrastructure damage verified as a result of the storm. A major disaster declaration for these counties is the next step in seeking financial assistance from the federal government once the $27.3 million damage threshold is met to allow local communities continue to recover.
 “Once again, extreme weather came to New York and once again New Yorkers came together to help our neighbors in their time of need,” Governor Cuomo said. “The state, working with communities from every corner of New York, mobilized an unprecedented response to the storm that struck Western New York and the North County. As we continue the recovery process, federal assistance is critical to helping these communities and their residents move beyond this storm and prepare for the rest of the upcoming winter season.”
 A total of 14 fatalities and six injuries were attributed to the Lake Effect Snow event. More than 370 structures experienced roof damage from the weight of snow with an additional 38 structures completely destroyed. In rural communities, barn collapses killed and injured livestock, including cattle and horses. Dairy farmers were forced to dump more than 250,000 pounds of milk. Damages to the agricultural industry alone are estimated at more than $15 million.
 The highest snow accumulation of 88 inches was reported in Cowlesville, Wyoming County. Several locations in Erie County exceeded 50 inches with Cheektowaga recording 65 inches of snow and Hamburg recording 79.8 inches. Snow fall rates from this storm were as much as six inches per hour in the Buffalo area. 
 The Governor declared a State of Emergency on November 19, and local States of Emergency were declared in Erie County, the southern areas of the city of Buffalo, the city of Lackawanna, the towns of Alden, Aurora, Hamburg, Cheektowaga, Elma, Marilla, Orchard Park, Lancaster, West Seneca, the villages of Alden, Blasdell, East Aurora, Depew, Hamburg , Lancaster, Orchard Park and Sloan.
 As a result of the damage caused by these storms, Governor Cuomo requested technical assistance in the form of a joint State-FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA), which was initiated on December 1. Results of this PDA validated State and County expenditures of more than $46.6 million in response and recovery efforts. 
 Additionally, Governor Cuomo has requested a Physical Disaster Declaration from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for low interest loans. SBA loan programs for eligible applicants would include homeowner physical disaster home loans (homeowners and renters), physical disaster business loans (businesses and non-profits), and economic injury business loans for small businesses.
 The President's action makes federal funding available to state 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 severe storms. 
 A. Wesley Jones, Director
Norwich Emergency Management
One City Plaza, Norwich, NY 13815
(607) 334-1299

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