ALBANY, N.Y. — On Friday, Governor Kathy Hochul requested a major disaster declaration from President Joe Biden to secure federal assistance in the wake of the December blizzard in Western New York and winter storms in other parts of New York.
The declaration would provide federal disaster assistance for local governments in Erie, Genesee, and Niagara counties. It would also help St. Lawrence and Suffolk counties. The governor is requesting public assistance to reimburse counties for snow removal.
She's also requesting funeral assistance and crisis counseling for people in Erie and Niagara counties who were affected by the blizzard in late December.
"I have submitted a formal request to President Biden to secure a Major Disaster Declaration to support communities across New York impacted by the devastating winter storm that hit our state in December," Governor Hochul said. "Federal assistance will support my administration's ongoing efforts to help New Yorkers continue to recover from this once in a generation storm."
Governments and eligible non-profits could use any available federal financial assistance for debris removal, protective measures, and repairs to buildings and infrastructure.
This latest declaration is in addition to the December 26 federal emergency declaration to support response and rescue operations to the storm.
"This historic storm began as a statewide event with a complex forecast of snow, ice, strong winds and extreme wind chill. These conditions created a nearly two-day blizzard in the Buffalo area that became hazardous for pre-positioned emergency responders, snow plows, and utility crews to navigate. Our team was proud to work alongside all of our emergency response partners involved in the event and I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Hochul to help our communities recover," said Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray.