U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has granted Upstate New York counties devastated by the Halloween storm last year, $9,200,000 in federal funding through the Emergency Relief (ER) program.
The $9.2 million will go toward repairing roads and highways in Upstate New York, both of which were seriously damaged during the flooding, including those in the NY-27 Congressional District.
“This grant is good news for everyone in Upstate New York," Schumer said. "Last Halloween, our state, from one corner to the other, saw severe damaged after being ravaged by heavy rain, flooding, and tempestuous winds.
"This federal aid will finally begin the process of healing and recovery for these Upstate communities and ease the burden of natural disasters on New York taxpayers."
Senator Gillibrand said: “I’m grateful we could deliver federal aid to communities across Upstate New York that are still suffering from the extensive damage caused by the Halloween storms. This grant is an important first step in ensuring these communities get the resources they need to rebuild.”
During the Halloween storm, 12 counties received at least 3 inches of rain, which is nearly a month’s worth in most Upstate areas, and 27 counties received flood warnings and flash flood warnings.
Furthermore, winds blew between 60 and 70 miles per hour, knocking down countless trees, destroying private property and leaving hundreds of thousands of Upstate New Yorkers without power.
In the Mohawk Valley, hundreds of residents were evacuated and many properties remain uninhabitable. The storm even tragically took the life of a priest, Father Tom Connery, in Herkimer County, who was trapped in his vehicle during one of the flash floods.
In Western New York, floodwaters and wind caused millions in damage across the Lakes Erie and Ontario shorelines.
Schumer and Gillibrand have long advocated for federal recognition of the disaster and called repeatedly for funding to begin repairs. The DOT funding will go toward the 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, and 27 Congressional districts.