President Joe Biden has approved a disaster declaration for upstate New York counties, including Cayuga, affected by the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred in August.
The major disaster declaration allows state and local governments to receive federal funding to repair infrastructure damage caused by the storms. Funding is also available for hazard mitigation, according to the White House.
In addition to Cayuga, Allegany, Cortland, Lewis, Oneida, Steuben, Tioga and Yates counties are covered by the declaration.
“I’m pleased the president has heeded our call to approve a major disaster declaration for Cayuga County and other local communities impacted by Tropical Storm Fred,“ said U.S. Rep John Katko, who represents Cayuga County.
“In Cayuga County, we saw severe rainfall lead to dangerous flash flooding and costly damage to homes and businesses. The approval of this declaration will allow federal aid to be made available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and ensure our local communities can fully recover from this storm.”
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Gov. Kathy Hochul requested disaster aid in September. An assessment conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, along with state and local agencies, found the storms and subsequent flooding caused $36.2 million in damage.
For Cayuga County to be eligible for inclusion, it needed to have at least $311,101 in damages. Dale Currier, Cayuga County's director of emergency services, told The Citizen in September that the county met the threshold.
The request for disaster aid was supported by Cayuga County's federal representatives — U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, and U.S. Rep. John Katko.
When the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred moved through the region, there was heavy rainfall and significant flooding. Flooding was reported in Auburn and the southern part of Cayuga County. The rainfall in Auburn topped seven inches, according to the National Weather Service. Owasco Lake nearly reached its flood stage.
The floods caused damage to businesses, homes and infrastructure. Some roads were washed out because of the high water levels.
Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.