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News Release    

May 3, 2007      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Dutchess County Receives Major Disaster Declaration

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today he has received notification Dutchess County’s application has been approved for disaster assistance from the federal government.     “As a result of our application, Dutchess County is now eligible to receive Public Assistance which is financial aid to local governments, as well as Individual Assistance, financial aid for homeowners, renters and businesses,” stated the County Executive.

“This is very welcome news for the citizens and the local municipal governments of Dutchess County.      My staff and I have been working with residents and local governments through our six outreach sessions and public information notices as well as through personal inquiries to quickly provide damage estimates in an effort to have Dutchess County declared as a major disaster area.    Thanks to those efforts, we have received that disaster declaration, which now establishes an avenue for residents and businesses to get financial assistance to help them recover,” continued County Executive Steinhaus.

Preliminary damage estimates compiled by the Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response and submitted to the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) in Albany show public damage estimates to municipalities, public buildings, roads, bridges, etc. total more than $8.2 million.   Individual damage estimates to private homes and business has totaled more than $5.1 million in Dutchess County thus far.

Public Assistance is aid available to local governments – the county, towns, villages and cities.   Emergency work, such as overtime and debris removal, as well as the repair of damaged public facilities are all considered to be eligible expenses for aid from the state and federal government.    Certain private non-profits which provide governmental services are also eligible.   FEMA funds 75% of the costs.   The Public Assistance program is managed by SEMO.

Steinhaus said, “I am especially pleased our work was successful to allow homeowners, renters and businesses to apply for Individual Assistance by registering for state/federal aid.”   The program includes grants for repairs and for rent of alternative housing, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and grants for other serious unmet needs.

The Executive said, “Any Dutchess County residents who have experienced property or income damage due to the recent flooding should register for assistance, regardless of whether or not damage estimates were provided to local governments.”    People can apply for assistance in the following ways:

  • Call (800) 621-FEMA (3362) between 8am and 8pm.
  • TTY  (800) 462-7585 between 8am and 8pm.
  • Register online at
    Click on “Apply for Assistance” in the upper right hand corner.

“I have been in dozens and dozens of neighborhoods, hamlets and communities across Dutchess County and people have been dealt a devastating blow by last month’s storm and subsequent flooding.  This disaster declaration is an important step in the recovery efforts. I encourage residents, businesses and local government to apply quickly for assistance and begin the process of putting life back together,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.

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