Reps. Crowley, Weiner, McMahon Call on President Obama to Declare Federal Disaster in New York City

October 2, 2010
Press Release

Washington, D.C.Today, Reps. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Anthony Weiner (D-Queens, Brooklyn) and Michael E. McMahon (D-Staten Island, Brooklyn) sent a letter to President Obama stating strong support for Governor Paterson’s request for a declaration of a federal disaster in New York following last month’s destructive storms that severely damaged  parts of the City. The day after the storms hit, members of the New York Congressional Delegation called on Paterson to conduct an assessment of the damage, and proposed he request federal assistance should the City qualify.

“The devastating storms that hit our city last month not only caused millions of dollars in damages, but also placed an incredible burden on the City, as well as residents and business owners. This declaration is critical to helping our communities rebuild, restore and recover,” said Rep. Crowley.

“This was a true disaster that no city or family should be expected to weather alone. This designation will leverage help from the federal government and it is vital,” said Rep. Weiner.

“New York City and its families should not have to shoulder the cost of cleaning up from September's violent storms alone. My colleagues and I are urging to President to designate FEMA funding for the City and residents to help clean up and remove debris from City streets and yards,” said Rep. McMahon.

The text of the letter sent to President Obama and signed by Reps. Crowley, Weiner and McMahon is below:

October 2, 2010

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:
 
We want to express our strong support for the Federal Disaster Declaration requested by Governor Paterson for the five boroughs of New York City. The request comes in response to the severe storms that swept through the City on September 16, 2010 and caused significant damage.

On September 17, the day after the storm, Federal, State and City personnel conducted a preliminary damage assessment in the boroughs. Preliminary impact information from the joint assessment conducted September 22-25 indicates severe loss and damages to public and private property in excess of $27 million.

It is clear the September 16 storms reached the threshold for a Federal disaster declaration. As such, we hope you will grant Governor Paterson’s request for the implementation of the Public Assistance program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in all five boroughs for the costs of response, debris removal and repairs to public property.
Additionally, we support the Governor's request for Individual Assistance (IA) program relief from FEMA for homeowners, renters and businesses in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The IA program would provide disaster housing and rental assistance; as well as assistance for items such as clothing and household items, and disaster related medical costs; disaster unemployment assistance; case management; crisis counseling, and Small Business Administration low-interest loans for those businesses adversely affected.

We hope that you will be able to make this disaster declaration expeditiously to aid our constituents suffering in the aftermath of this natural disaster. Thank you.


Sincerely,

Joseph Crowley             Anthony Weiner            Michael E. McMahon
Member of Congress     Member of Congress     Member of Congress

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