Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) is urging the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to classify Westchester County as a region "most impacted and distressed" by Superstorm Sandy. This designation will enable the county to receive the proper amount of emergency disaster funding from HUD.
Rep. Engel said, "Westchester County was devastated by this storm and belongs alongside the other counties in New York, New Jersey and the Eastern seaboard who are considered most impacted and distressed. After touring areas of my district in Westchester, it is impossible not to realize the devastating impact the storm had on homes, businesses and public facilities. In fact, the damages suffered in Westchester exceeds that of some counties already included among the most impacted and distressed. It would be unconscionable to exclude Westchester residents and further expound upon their suffering," said Rep. Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Text of the letter to HUD is below:
I write to request that Westchester County be designated "most impacted and distressed." As you know, Westchester County was devastated by Superstorm Sandy.
I have spent time touring the County and speaking to the residents that were hit the hardest by the storm. After reviewing the damage and the assessments by both the County and the State I believe that to not add the designation of "most impacted and distressed" would be unconscionable.
Westchester had over 1000 properties damaged, between owner-occupied and renter-occupied. This is greater than the number of some other counties that have been given this designation. In addition, the County also had over 70 businesses submit applications to the Small Business Administration. The County also has at least $93 million in damage to infrastructure.
Due to these numbers and the severe damage, I formally request that Westchester County be included among "most impacted and distressed" counties for purposes of allocation of CDBR-DR funds.
I look forward to your favorable reply.
Eliot L. Engel
Member of Congress