Monday, March 14, 2011

Rep Weiner Announces Federal Disaster Aid for Queens Residents Hit Hard By Blizzard

Today, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D – Queens and Brooklyn) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has deemed that the borough of Queens is eligible to receive federal funding to help cover the cleanup costs of the December 2010 blizzard.

Nearly two feet of snow buried neighborhoods throughout New York City, including Queens, last December. The ensuing cleanup efforts forced the City to exceed its snow budget for the entire 2011 fiscal year – and is estimated to cost in excess of $60 million in recovery costs, lost revenue, and residential and private property damage.

Now, Queens has been approved for Category B funding for “emergency protective measures.” 
These include steps taken before, during, and after a disaster to save lives, protect public health and safety, and prevent damage to public and private property. The funding could be used to cover the costs of emergency repairs, search and rescue, and the installation of warning devices like signs or announcements, among other measures. State and local governments, as well as certain non-profit organizations, are eligible for assistance.

“Residents of Queens suffered enough during the holiday storm,” Weiner said. “Thankfully they won’t be forced to suffer again by footing the bill for the cleanup and recovery.”

FEMA has not yet announced whether Brooklyn is also eligible for funds, even though the borough was one of the hardest hit in last year’s storm. On Thursday, Rep. Weiner wrote to Secretary of 
Homeland Security Janet Napolitano calling on her to declare Kings County a disaster area, so that vital funds can be made available to help residents in the borough.