Hurricane Irene Flood Recovery Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

A $30 million-grant program for communities and businesses in New York recovering from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee is now accepting grant applications, Empire State Development and the Department of Environmental Conservation announced this week. The program consists of two components: $21 million through the Business Flood Recovery Grant Program to be directed to eligible entities that sustained direct, physical flood-related damage and $9 million through the Flood Mitigation Grant Program to be used to support flood mitigation or flood control projects in waterways impacted by the record-breaking storms.

Empire State Development (ESD) will administer the $21 million Business Flood Recovery Grant Program, which will provide grants of up to $20,000 for eligible small businesses, farms, multiple dwellings, and not-for-profits that sustained flood-related damage in Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee. Funding is geared to help offset the costs of storm-related repairs and restoration of structures not covered by other federal, state or local recovery programs. Preference will be given to applicants that demonstrate the greatest need.

Applicants can access the application form, instructions, and guidelines, as well as additional information about the program at http://www.esd.ny.gov/BusinessPrograms/FloodRecovery.html. Information can also be obtained by calling 518-292-5340 or emailing floodrecovery@esd.ny.gov. The deadline for the application is March 16, 2012.

The $9 million Flood Mitigation Grant Program will be made available to counties through DEC and ESD. Eligible counties can apply for a grant for projects within their boundaries to reduce potential threats to public and private infrastructure. This funding can also be used as non-federal match to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Emergency Watershed Protection Program. Through this program, NRCS has allocated $31.5 million for New York localities.

Grants will range from a minimum of $300,000 to a maximum of $500,000 per county. Preference will be given to applicants that demonstrate the greatest need and to those projects that can start work expeditiously and leverage other federal, state and local funding resources. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis starting January 24, 2012 and must be submitted by April 11, 2012. DEC and ESD will review grant applications. Counties should submit their proposed projects in priority order.

“Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee had a devastating effect on our community,” Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski said. “These grants will hopefully fill in the gaps left by the lack of private insurance or federal assistance.”

“Hudson Valley residents can finally breathe a sigh of relief to know that the money we made available in last year’s special legislative session is now available for eligible participants,” said Senator David Carlucci. “I encourage those that think they might be eligible to either contact my office or the New York State Empire State Development to find out if they qualify for financial support.”