Public assistance granted for 28 NY counties due to March blizzard

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The federal government has approved a major disaster declaration for more than two dozen counties in New York, including Orleans County, for the March 2017 blizzard.

The New York Governor’s Office says state and local governments had more than $31.4 million in response costs and infrastructure damage.

The 28 counties under the major disaster declaration are: Albany, Broome, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Orleans, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, and Ulster counties.

“Extreme weather is quickly becoming the new normal and all levels of government need to reorient to best help those impacted by increasingly frequent storms,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “The state is committed to supporting every stage of the recovery process, and this declaration is critical to getting the assistance we need to help these communities move beyond this storm.”

Gov. Cuomo declared a state of emergency on March 14 and local states of emergency were also declared by 40 local governments due to the severity of the storm.

Assistance from the federal government include funding for emergency protective measures, debris removal, and repairs to public infrastructure.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm dropped record or near record snowfall rates during the blizzard. Snowfall rates were as much as six inches per hour throughout the state. The snowfall accumulation map shows unofficial totals for the storm.

The governor’s office says three people died in the blizzard.

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