Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

July 14, 2013

What will the U.S. cover from flood?

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Now that Niagara County, including Lockport, has been approved by President Barack Obama for disaster relief, one of the biggest questions is: what will be covered?

While homeowners must wait to find out if they will be eligible for reimbursement of expenses and property losses from the June 28 storm that drenched the city with five inches of rain in a few hours, the city has more clear-cut answers.

Lockport will be able to receive reimbursement of qualified expenses from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. City officials said the city suffered about $1.2 million in expenses related to the storm. This includes response — such as overtime for police, fire and public works employees — and physical damage at the wastewater treatment plant and a few washed-out streets.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations. Funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and to repair or replace facilities damaged by the severe storms and flooding.

Besides Niagara County; Allegany, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, and Warren counties are also eligible.

According to FEMA, the following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s disaster declaration:

• Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health. Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis.

• Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities.

• Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters. 

According to the FEMA website, Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

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