Federal Disaster Aid Coming to 18 New York Counties Hit by Storm

Federal disaster aid is coming to 18 upstate New York counties that endured severe thunderstorms and flooding on Halloween, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced Friday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide public assistance funding to the western, central and northern New York counties affected by the major disaster declaration.

The Oct. 31 storms brought at least three inches of rain and winds up to 70 mph, knocking down countless trees and power lines and leaving many properties uninhabitable. Catholic priest Tom Connery died after being swept away in floodwaters in Herkimer County, where his car got stuck.

When a disaster is declared, grant assistance is made available to state and local governments and nonprofit organizations to reimburse costs for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities. FEMA generally covers 75% of eligible costs.