U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Congressman Tim Bishop today announced a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant of $1,009,769.38 for the Town of Smithtown to reimburse the town for cleanup costs associated with damage as a result of Irene last August. The storm dumped massive amounts of rain, and high winds caused hundreds of thousands of Long Island residents to lose power, but the damage was particular devastating in Smithtown, which saw over 1,800 tons of uprooted trees, branches, limbs and other debris deposited on public roads.
"Long Island suffered immense damage as a result of last year's storm, but Smithtown was hit particularly hard and spent a more than $1 million to clean up the damage," said Schumer. "That's why I applaud FEMA for doing the right thing by stepping up to the plate and covering a majority of the recovery costs. This will go a long way towards relieving Smithtown's financial burden that they should not have to shoulder on their own."
"This funding will provide much needed relief for Smithtown families and businesses impacted by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee," Senator Gillibrand said. "Now it's time to put all necessary resources on the ground to help Smithtown recover. I will fight to secure all the federal funding our communities need."
"After Hurricane Irene, Smithtown responded quickly and comprehensively to help the community recover from the federally-declared disaster, and I strongly supported federal grant funding to reimburse the Town for the hard work of the Highway Department and other agencies," said Congressman Tim Bishop. "I'm especially pleased that the federal government has stepped up to cover much of the recovery costs, sharply reducing the burden on local taxpayers."
"We are grateful for Senator Schumer's quick assistance in obtaining funding for the cost incurred by the town from Hurricane Irene," said Supervisor Patrick Vecchio.
During the incident period August 26, 2011 and Sep 5, 2011, Irene's high winds and soaking rains uprooted almost 2,000 tons of trees, branches, limbs, and other vegetative debris to be deposited on public roads, sidewalks and public right-of-ways within the Town of Smithtown. In total, Smithtown spent $1,346,359.17 on cleanup costs as a result of the storm.
Today, Schumer, Gillibrand and Bishop announced that FEMA had agreed to reimburse the Town of Smithtown for the federal share of the Project to remove debris from within the Town limits. FEMA has agreed to cover 75% of Smithtown's total costs, or $1,009,769.38.