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Federal aid to help areas hit by Halloween storm


President Donald Trump on Friday issued a declaration of disaster for 18 New York counties, including Erie and Chautauqua Counties due to significant damage from a late October storm.

The declaration means state, local, tribal and some non-profits can receive federal emergency funds for damage repairs.

The storm caused major damage to the Lake Erie break wall and the Bird Island Pier. However the break wall is ineligible for those specific funds because it is an Army Corps of Engineers facility.

In a statement today, Congressman Brian Higgins, who initially pushed for the declaration, called it “welcome relief” for state and local municipalities still trying to recover.

Acting County Executive Stephen Abdella said his team is still assessing the damage done to the City of Dunkirk.

“The City of Dunkirk and a number of its shoreline facilities would potentially be the beneficiaries of this disaster declaration,” he said. “There was break wall damage, and pier damage, and then damage related to the water treatment plant facilities that are near the shoreline.”

Relief is coming for government municipalities, but homeowners continue to blow in the wind.

A statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo credits Trump for his declaration, but said the next step of the process is making sure care is shown to private property owners as well. To that end, Cuomo is asking the President to approve funds for the Individual Assistance program.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.
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