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New York Disaster Declaration signed by President Obama

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President Obama Signs New York Disaster Declaration

Today, the President declared a major disaster in the State of New York and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by the severe storms and flooding during the period of May 13-22, 2014.

Federal funding also is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and flooding in the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Delaware, Herkimer, Lewis, Livingston, Ontario, Otsego, Steuben, and Yates.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

“Today’s declaration is welcome news for the countless families and businesses that need this relief to help them put their lives back together,” Reed said. “To me, giving these communities a fair chance to repair is the right thing to do – they shouldn’t have to wait any longer for help to rebuild.”

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Steven S. Ward as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

In response to the new study, Daniel Zarrilli, director of the newly launched Office of Recovery and Resiliency for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, says, "Historic sea-level rise has clearly increased the odds of flooding in New York Harbor. Climate change will only accelerate that impact."

"Knowing that there has been an increase in storm tides and figuring out why the increase occurred could help scientists better predict what will happen in the coming decades and help cities mitigate future problems," says Stefan Talke, the lead author of the new study and a professor in the civil and environmental engineering department of Portland State University. (A storm tide is the combination of normal high tide and storm surge—the extra volume of water driven onshore by the storm's winds.)

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