Two local counties were recently awarded a total of more than $4 million from FEMA for continuing efforts to repair damage caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011.
Schoharie County is due to receive $2.5 million for cleanup costs associated with the storm, and the Delaware County Department of Public Works is slated to receive more than $1.8 million to replace the Dry Brook bridge in the town of Middletown, according to a joint media release from Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer.
The funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are added to the millions the region has already received from the agency following the storms and flooding caused by Irene last August.
Schumer, Gillibrand and Congressman Paul Tonko announced that FEMA has agreed to reimburse Schoharie County for the federal share of two projects to help cover the cost of debris removal and other damages in the region.
The first award provides the county $1.47 million of the project’s total cost at $1.97 million for repairs to damages to Hauverville Road in Middleburgh, which resulted from flooding and high velocity flow across the road, shoulders, drainage ditches, drainage channels and streams.
The second award is for just over $1 million of a project costing nearly $1.4 million to repair and replace county Route 31, including the replacement of seven culverts.
The awards cover 75 percent of the county's share of the costs of the repairs.
“Schoharie County suffered immense damage as a result of last year’s storm and spent more than $3 million to clean up the damage on Hauverville and Bear Ladder Road,” Schumer said in the release. “I applaud FEMA for doing the right thing by stepping up to the plate and covering a significant piece of these recovery costs. This will go a long way towards relieving Schoharie’s financial burden, which they should not have to shoulder on their own.”
In Delaware County, funding will go to rebuild the Dry Brook bridge, the loss of which caused lengthy detours for months after the storm.
“We sincerely appreciate the efforts of Sens. Gillibrand, Schumer and FEMA to help Delaware County recover from Hurricane Irene,” Delaware County Department of Public Works Commissioner Wayne Reynolds said in the release. “This bridge is extremely critical because the detour is long and requires travel over difficult terrain that is steep and difficult to maintain, especially during winter months.”
The funding from FEMA, worth $1,846,166 to cover 75 percent of the total project cost, will be used to help design and build a two-span, 147-foot long bridge to replace the damaged 76-foot long, single-span bridge.
“These massive storms may be over a year behind us, but much of the damage is still here,” Gillibrand said in the release. “This funding will help our effort to clean up and rebuild key infrastructure so families and businesses in Delaware County can continue on the path to recovery, and get back on their feet.”