President Obama signed an emergency measure at the end of January for $50.5 billion in aid for Superstorm Sandy. The federal aid for heavily-impacted Sandy communities is one of the many areas being affected by sequestration – the across-the-board federal budget cuts that began March 1.
The estimates of how much aid will be cut by sequestration range from $1 billion- to $2.5 billion dollars, and those concerned say the cuts will reduce funds to help recovery efforts in the areas of housing and transportation, as well as mitigation efforts.
Federal flood maps are being redrawn, and for those areas hit by Hurricane Sandy, that could mean guidance on whether to rebuild on higher ground. The new maps will also impact flood-insurance premiums.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is redrawing flood-zone maps for the New York City area. Michael Byrne is FEMA’s federal coordinating officer for New York. He says the map revisions began before Hurricane Sandy, but are of even greater concern since Sandy.
Four more Hudson Valley counties have been added to the federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Sandy. The declaration now offers Individual Assistance to residents of Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
Rockland and Westchester counties were approved to receive the assistance days ago along with New York metropolitan area counties. Those two counties are also eligible for Public Assistance aid.
More than 1,100 homes in Dutchess County have been added to the government’s list of being at a high-risk of flooding. That could mean that the homeowners will have to pay for mandated flood insurance that can cost more than $2,000 a year. After the recent study by the federal emergency management agency of the flood risk, more than 5,200 properties in Dutchess County are now designated in the high risk category. For more on the new flood maps, WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke with Paul Weberg, senior engineer at FEMA’S New York office.
Vermont officials are expressing frustration and alarm at the lack of certainty surrounding how much money the state will get from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with recovery from Tropical Storm Irene.
Officials in Springfield Massachusetts announced Friday they intend to seek state and federal funding to build a new school to replace an aged one that was heavily damaged by the tornado almost a year ago. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.