Sullivan and Ulster counties are on a list of New York State counties declared eligible for individual aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, along with the lower Hudson Valley and New York City metropolitan area.
Both counties have also asked FEMA for a disaster designation that would make public aid available to the county and municipalities -- a request that has support from prominent local politicians, including U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Neither county is currently on the list of Public Aid counties, but the agency is considering their requests. The Freeman reports that Ulster County Emergency Management director Art Snyder expects FEMA public aid to come through:
Snyder said his office had a “very successful preliminary damage assessment on Friday.” “We needed to meet a per capita threshold, and we did,” he said on Sunday. “I anticipate that we will receive a PA declaration as well,” but it could take a week or so to clear the administrative hurdles, Snyder said.
Local residents who want to apply for individual FEMA aid can apply online at disasterassistance.gov, or apply by phone: (800) 621-3362 or TTY (800) 462-7585.
Officials in both counties have been meeting with FEMA representatives about setting up local Disaster Recovery Centers to help local residents access FEMA services, and the centers are expected to be up and running soon.
In Sullivan County, dumpsters have been set up in several locations to collect storm debris. The county has also declared that fees for disposing of Sandy-related debris will be waived at local transfer stations.
Power outages still remain in both counties. According to Central Hudson's outage map, 240 households in the Sullivan County town of Neversink and 379 Ulster County households served by the utility still have no power. Central Hudson expects to have power fully restored to Neversink by 11:30am today, but in the Ulster County towns of Denning, Rochester and Wawarsing, where many households are still without electricity, the utility is not giving an estimated restoration time.
Orange & Rockland also reports that 288 of its households in Sullivan County are still without power, most in the town of Forestburgh. All Orange & Rockland customers in Forestburgh are expected to have power back on by early this afternoon.