STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- State Sen. Andrew Lanza has asked Gov. David Paterson to amend the state's request for disaster assistance relief from March storm floods to include aid to homeowners.
Last month, President Obama declared six counties in New York state, including Richmond County, eligible to receive assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. But at Paterson's behest, the aid goes to localities to rebuild damaged infrastructure and public facilities, not to individual homeowners or renters.
However, the disaster declaration could be amended to include individual assistance, according to the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Noting that in a letter to Paterson, Lanza (R-Staten Island) said: "Thousands of Staten Islanders lost power after extensive rain and wind damage uprooted hundreds of trees, damaging homes and taking down power lines ... and families are still dealing with the aftermath."
Meanwhile, FEMA representatives will be available to meet with Island officials Thursday in FEMA's regional office in Brooklyn to discuss possible assistance to the borough.
From the Staten Island Advance - May 03, 2010: