BUFFALO, N.Y. — President Joe Biden has approved New York's disaster declaration for the winter storm in December that caused dozens of deaths in Erie County.
US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made the announcement on Wednesday that state and local municipalities will receive federal funding to help cover the costs of storm-related damages and emergency response for the state and several counties, including Erie, Niagara and Genesee counties.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul made the formal request on December 24, 2022.
“The deadly December blizzard was a once in a generation storm, bringing hurricane-force winds, mass power outages, and tragically resulted in nearly 50 New Yorkers losing their lives, mostly in the City of Buffalo. I fought non-stop to elevate the voices of Western New York to the highest levels of government talking to the FEMA Administrator, White House Chief of Staff, and even the President himself on Air Force One, because I knew Buffalo needed this funding to truly start on the long road to recovery from this horrific storm,” said Senator Schumer. “I promised I would make sure this funding was delivered no matter how many bureaucratic roadblocks may get in the way, and that snow removal would be included, and a promise made is now a promise kept. While nothing can truly make the Buffalo community whole after the immeasurable loss of life it suffered because of this tragic storm, this funding will provide the support needed to rebuild, and rebuild stronger, and provide additional assistance to those who lost loved ones in the storm. I sincerely thank President Biden for heeding my calls to ensure communities across New York impacted by this storm have the support they need to recover.”
In addition to the state and local municipalities receiving access to federal funding, non-profit agencies in Erie, Genesee and Niagara counties whose facilities suffered damage in the December storm can also apply for reimbursement
With the declaration, FEMA can reimburse Erie and Niagara counties for snow-related expenses, covering 75% of eligible costs for permanent or emergency work.
President Biden also authorized funeral assistance, which reimburses those in Erie and Genesee counties who lost a loved one during the storm. The money would be used to pay for funeral and cemetery expenses.