Orange County to get federal disaster aid

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:05

    President Barack Obama declared New York State a disaster area on Wednesday, which now allows for the release of federal aid to the state’s government and individuals. Orange County was included in the counties deemed eligible for either the Individual Assistance Program or the Public Assistance Grant Program components. In a meeting held Wednesday, State Sen. David Carlucci called upon Obama, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to declare Orange County eligible for all assistance grants. On Wednesday, Schumer and Gillibrand made the request of President Obama. Federal officials are due to visit Orange and Sullivan by next week. FEMA has $800 million left in its budget and is set to run out of assistance money used help communities dealing with natural disasters. U.S. Rep. Nan Hayworth and her House colleagues have threatened to withhold disaster money if lawmakers don’t cut additional spending from the federal budget. Cuomo estimated $1 billion in damage throughout the state, with 600 homes demolished 329,000 without power as of Thursday morning. Total storm’s total impact is currently estimated at $7 billion.