President Biden on Monday approved New York’s major-disaster declaration, a move that will funnel federal relief dollars to local governments and homeowners ravaged by Hurricane Ida’s devastating flooding last week.
“I saw the devastation of New Yorkers who lost so much from this storm, and I pledged that we would do everything in our power to help them rebuild,” Hochul said in a statement Monday.
“I thank President Biden and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell for their swift approval of a Major Disaster Declaration, which provides a promise that we will build back better and stronger.
“I look forward to touring disaster areas with President Biden tomorrow and will continue to work with FEMA and our members of Congress to ensure New Yorkers get the relief they need from the devastating impacts of this horrible storm,” she said.
Biden will visit Queens on Tuesday to tour neighborhoods hit hard by the storm. At least 13 people died in New York City during Ida — nearly all after becoming trapped in basements in Queens and Brooklyn.
Last week’s floodwaters also left at least five people dead in Westchester, bringing the state’s total number of fatalities to 18.
New York’s Bronx, Queens, Kings, Richmond and Westchester counties will all be covered for individual assistance, meaning their homeowners will be eligible to receive housing help, crisis counseling, unemployment aid, home repairs and legal-services funds.
New York County, a k a Manhattan, is approved for just public assistance such as repairs to damaged infrastructure.
Hochul said she has deployed specialists from the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to assess damages, as well as approved $378 million in hazard-mitigation funding given by FEMA.
Twenty-seven deaths were recorded in neighboring New Jersey — where a disaster emergency was also declared — and Gov. Phil Murphy is seeking more federal aid to assist the Garden State’s recovery efforts.
Biden will also make a stop in Manville, NJ, another location slammed by flooding and rainwater, on Tuesday.