FEMA Aid for Suffolk County, Smithtown and Brookhaven Town Follows Announcement of $5.1 Million in Army Corps Funding for Beach Restoration West Of Shinnecock Inlet
Congressman Tim Bishop hailed the recent announcements that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved federal grants for major debris removal in the aftermath of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee totaling $1,745,715 to reimburse Suffolk County, $1,009,769.38 to reimburse Smithtown and $4,296,115.57 to reimburse Brookhaven Town.
In response to the August, 2011 disaster, County and Town governments deployed personnel from all departments to help with emergency debris removal and ensure public safety, and also hired additional contractors with special equipment to aid the cleanup effort. Last week, FEMA approved applications for reimbursement from the local government entities, with the federal government bearing 75% of the cost for debris removal within Town borders. The federal cost share is typical for FEMA Public Assistance grants.
"After Hurricane Irene, County and Town governments responded quickly and comprehensively to help our community recover from the federally-declared disaster, and I strongly supported federal grant funding to reimburse Suffolk County, Brookhaven and Smithtown for their hard work," said Congressman Tim Bishop. "I'm especially pleased that the federal government has stepped up to cover much of the recovery costs given the fiscal situation in Suffolk County."
Bishop said that additional FEMA grants for East End towns will likely be approved on a rolling basis in the coming weeks.
The FEMA aid follows the announcement last week by Congressman Bishop that he has secured $5.1 million for a US Army Corps of Engineers dredge of Shinnecock Inlet this year, with sand from the dredged inlet to be placed on the badly-eroded section of beach known as West of Shinnecock Inlet (WOSI) to restore it to its condition before Irene. Federal funding through the Army Corps Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies program will cover the entire cost of the work, with no share of the cost borne by local government.
On August 31, 2011, Congressman Bishop and a bipartisan coalition of 20 members of New York’s delegation in the House of Representatives wrote a letter urging President Obama to declare Irene a federal disaster in Suffolk County and all 26 New York counties declared disaster areas by Governor Cuomo. Once the President declared the federal disaster, Suffolk County became eligible for Public Assistance, including the reimbursement announced today.
Bishop also successfully appealed directly to President Obama for Suffolk County homeowners and businesses who suffered damage in the disaster to be eligible for Individual Assistance (IA) grants due to the severe damage to private property in coastal areas.
On September 8, Bishop hosted a meeting in Mastic with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) to help homeowners and businesses learn about the process for applying for federal disaster aid for individuals. Storm damage impacted 861 homes state-wide, with $16,798,899 in individual assistance provided to affected homeowners.
"I advocated strongly for federal aid to repair the significant damage in Suffolk County from this federally-declared disaster, and will continue to work with my partners in local government to make the strongest possible case for aid in response to future disasters,” said Congressman Bishop.
Source: Congressman Tim Bishop press release dated June 18, 2012.