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Hochul Requests Major Disaster Declaration for Canandaigua Flooding


A Major Disaster Declaration has been requested by Governor Kathy Hochul from President Biden to support the ongoing recovery of communities impacted by devastating flooding stemming from this week’s heavy rainstorms, which spanned across much of Upstate New York, including the Finger Lakes.

If granted, this declaration would release critical federal financial assistance that will support recovery and reconstruction efforts in a dozen counties including Ontario with the opportunity for additional counties to be added in the coming weeks as the damage assessment process continues. Additionally, Governor Hochul is requesting federal support for homeowners in Ontario County, as well as an expedited damage assessment process. New York will also be engaging with the U.S. Small Business Administration to pursue low-interest recovery loans for impacted private businesses in the coming weeks.

A Major Disaster Declaration secures financial assistance from the federal government, primarily through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, to provide funding to local governments, tribes and eligible non-profits for debris removal, protective measures, and repairs to buildings and infrastructure, including roads, bridges, water and wastewater treatment facilities, critical infrastructure sites, schools, parks and other facilities. 

Following a disaster, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ (DHSES) Disaster Recovery Unit works directly with counterparts at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and impacted local governments to assess damages caused by and costs related to the disaster. Once these assessments are complete, FEMA validates whether the state and impacted counties have reached the required federal damage thresholds for a Major Disaster Declaration

From July 9-10, more than eight inches of rain was reported in parts of the Mid-Hudson Region and more than five inches of rain in Ontario County, in the Finger Lakes Region. From July 10-11, parts of the North Country saw several inches of rain in a short period of time, which caused devastating flooding, closing roadways and damaging infrastructure across impacted regions.



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