State Senator Malcolm A. Smith (D-Queens) today said his constituents and other residents of Queens will be better able to get on with the process of repairing their homes now that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) borough has declared Queens a disaster area following damage caused by last month's storm.
"Thanks to Governor Spitzer's quick response, the residents of Southeast Queens will be able to repair their homes and move on," said Senator Smith. "The rebuilding process may be slow, and at times frustrating, but we will come through stronger and more commercially viable than ever."
FEMA officials joined local officials and state and city disaster leaders on a tour of the damaged areas on August 16th.
"More than 1,300 buildings in Queens were damaged during the storm. In addition, FEMA deemed 460 of those buildings uninhabitable," Senator Smith said.
With the designation, Queens homeowners will be able to apply for grants to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. The United States Small Business Administration will provide low-interest loans to cover business and residential losses that are not fully covered by insurance.
"It is important to know that FEMA stands ready to help everyone affected by the storm," Senator Smith said.
He also said residents should keep all flood damage-related receipts.
For more information on filing claims with FEMA, area residents may call Senator Smith's District Office at 718-528-4290.