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FEMA deadlines extended for Irene and Lee victims

Marie Cusick
A home in Prattsville, N.Y. was one of hundreds damaged or destroyed in the floodwater from tropical storms Irene and Lee.

In the wake of tropical storms Irene and Lee, nearly 57,000 New Yorkers have already applied for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The cut-off for Irene victims to apply for help from FEMA was supposed to be on Monday October 31st; for  Lee victims, the deadline was set for mid-November.

Now, at the request of New York State, people affected by both storms will have until December 15th to apply for assistance.

But as the cold weather sets in, many people who have lost their homes are still waiting for FEMA’s temporary housing trailers.

So far, FEMA officials have delivered just two trailers to Schoharie County, but they’ve identified approximately 186 eligible families throughout the state, and they say they’re working to find appropriate sites for the trailers.

At a press conference at the State Capitol on Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo complained about the speed of the federal government’s response.

“I’m not happy with the results. I know they’re trying very hard, but in a situation like this you almost can’t do enough, and you can’t do it quickly enough,” Cuomo said.

FEMA officials stressed that both storms are New York State’s disasters, and the federal government is here to play a supporting role and offer financial help. They say they’ve already paid out more than $136 million to homeowners throughout the state.

To apply for FEMA assistance:

WMHT/Capital Region reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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