Two months following September’s record rainfall that severely impacted New York City and its neighboring regions, Governor Kathy Hochul has formally appealed to President Joe Biden for a major disaster declaration to aid in the ongoing recovery processes.
The declaration, if approved, would enable the state to receive federal reimbursement for the expenditures incurred during recovery.
In collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local governments, the state must evaluate the damage’s extent and determine if it surpasses the threshold for federal aid to help with recovery, which stood at $35.7 million as of September, as per the Governor’s office.
Governor Hochul, in a Wednesday, November 29th statement, emphasized the severity of the ongoing recovery, saying, “Our state witnessed unprecedented rainfall in September that resulted in devastating flooding, causing extensive damage throughout New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley.”
She emphasized the need for federal assistance to bolster the state’s efforts in aiding New Yorkers’ recovery from this historic climatic event.
Upon approval, FEMA funds will be released for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and infrastructure restoration in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau, and Westchester counties.
The intense storm, which poured over 6 inches of rain in various parts of the city, disrupted daily life, leading Governor Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams to issue emergency declarations.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) struggled to cope with the deluge, resulting in challenging commutes and flooded streets and subways on September 29th.
The relentless rainfall left many drivers trapped in significant pools of water on streets and highways, kept many students away from schools, and inundated a migrant tent facility on Randall’s Island.
The governor’s request follows a previous disaster declaration issued by President Biden for the Hudson Valley area in July, addressing the aftermath of floods that damaged roads and bridges.