Lowey Statement on FEMA Granting Access to Public Assistance Reimbursements to Rockland and Westchester after Tropical Storm Isaias

November 5, 2020
Press Release

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), issued the following statement after the Trump Administration amended the federal disaster declaration in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias: In the aftermath of August’s Tropical Storm Isaias, the Trump Administration granted a Major Disaster Declaration in early October for the State of New York for Nassau and Suffolk counties authorizing the use of federal funds to aid recovery efforts. On November 3, Rockland and Westchester were added to this list of counties eligible for public assistance along with Putnam, Queens, and Richmond counties.

“I’m pleased that Rockland and Westchester counties are now eligible for FEMA Public Assistance reimbursements after the severe winds and heavy rains of Tropical Storm Isaias caused significant damage to our communities,” said Congresswoman Nita Lowey. “In September, I led a bipartisan NY delegation letter urging the president to expedite damage assessment evaluations for Rockland and Westchester, as well as other impacted counties in NY.”

Access to Public Assistance will support reimbursing Rockland and Westchester and their municipalities for the cost of Tropical Storm Isaias-related debris removal, emergency protective measures to protect life and property, and permanent repair work to damaged or destroyed infrastructure.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day said, “My thanks to Congresswoman Lowey for advocating for the addition of Rockland County to the Federal Disaster Declaration for Tropical Storm Isaias. Rockland’s addition allows for our local municipalities and governmental organizations to apply for disaster assistance for the damage done by that terrible storm. We will continue to work with Rockland’s Towns and Villages to make sure we’re all able to get reimbursement funding for the work done cleaning up from Isaias.”

“We are thankful to US Congresswoman Nita Lowey for her work in getting FEMA to amend the Disaster Declaration to include Westchester County,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “Between downed trees and damage to property, Westchester sustained substantial damage during Tropical Storm Isaias in August. This amendment to the Disaster Declaration will allow municipalities to get federal support for repairs relating to Isaias.

Additionally, private nonprofit organizations in Westchester and Rockland counties can take advantage of low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration. The SBA has announced that these organizations are covered by the disaster declaration for Public Assistance resulting from damage caused by Tropical Storm Isaias.

Examples of eligible private nonprofit organizations include food kitchens, homeless shelters, libraries, community centers, schools, and colleges. They may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. The interest rate is 2.75% with terms up to 30 years.

Private nonprofits should contact their county’s Emergency Manager for information about their organization that can be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Administration to see if they are eligible for a public assistance grant. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

The SBA is also offering Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to nonprofit organizations to help meet working capital needs, such as ongoing operating expenses. EIDL assistance is available whether or not the organization suffered any physical property damage.

The filing deadline to submit Public Assistance applications for physical property damage is Dec. 1, 2020. The deadline to submit EIDL applications is July 2, 2021.