FEMA

Rep. John Katko

This week, central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) brought acting administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Pete Gaynor, to tour some of the flooding damage along the Lake Ontario shoreline. The purpose was to figure out how to get funding for those affected.

Katko said it starts with local authorities aggregating the extent of the damages. The state will decide if it warrants a disaster declaration. Then, it goes to the president, which if he approves it, would release funds.

Updated Aug. 28 at 2:45 p.m. ET

As a major storm heads for Puerto Rico, the Department of Homeland Security and its Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday they will move $271 million in funds to support President Trump's border enforcement efforts.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Some residents of the Old First Ward and the Valley potentially face thousands of dollars a year in federal flood insurance costs. On Tuesday night, a packed and angry crowd was in the Valley Community Association to oppose the mandated flood insurance which is likely to take effect soon.


In the days after Superstorm Sandy soaked the East Coast, New York City Department of Transportation workers cataloged the damage to the agency's fleet of vehicles. That information was handed over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which would give the city enough money to replace the damaged vehicles with new ones.

Only one problem: Many of those vehicles were damaged before Sandy hit. Some hadn't been operational in years and had been marked for salvage long before the storm.

Puerto Rico's sole provider of electricity for 1.5 million residents says power has been returned to all homes that lost electricity from Hurricane Maria last September.

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority identified a family near the mountainous, rural barrios of Real and Anón, in Ponce, a city and municipality in the island's south, as their final customers to receive returned power. PREPA tweeted their image.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was ordered to once again extend a housing program for survivors of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, whose homes in Puerto Rico were destroyed and are now living in U.S. and Puerto Rico hotels.

WBFO File Photo/Veronica Volk

Not-for-profit organizations that suffered damage when Lake Ontario water flooded the shoreline earlier this year are eligible for federal low-interest loans, Congressman Chris Collins announced.


Angelica Morrison / Great Lakes Today

Federal recovery aid will be coming to Lake Ontario shoreline communities after President Donald Trump issued a major disaster declaration for spring and summer flooding.

It has been nearly two months since Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, but for many residents, the devastation it left behind remains a daily fact of life. Roughly 3,000 people are still living in hundreds of shelters across the island.

Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET

Irma, once a powerful and longrunning hurricane, weakened to a tropical depression as it moved through Georgia on its way to Alabama. It continues to dump heavy rain but all surge warnings have been canceled.

Irma has left behind dangerous floodwaters, power outages for millions of people and the debris it has made of human possessions across Florida.

The huge storm remained a Category 1 hurricane through early Monday, before finally being downgraded to a tropical storm and then a tropical depression.

As Hurricane Harvey churned toward the Texas coast, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told people to stay put. Don't evacuate, he said. Ride out the storm.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sounded a different note, telling Houstonians that if he were living in the area, he'd head north. "If you have the ability to evacuate and go someplace else for a little while, that would be good."

Local officials, in response, doubled down on their advice: Don't go.

USGS, FEMA assessing Lake Ontario flooding impact

Jul 13, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey scientists are using drones, radar and water-pressure sensors to track the effects of flooding along the Lake Ontario shoreline to help emergency managers track and respond to historic levels of flooding.

Forecasters say the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins Thursday, could bring "above-normal" storm activity. Residents along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are making sure they have supplies and plans in place if a storm hits.

'Snovember' storm declared a federal disaster

Dec 23, 2014
File photo

FEMA has officially declared parts of Western New York a "major disaster" following last month's massive snowstorm.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

The Federal Emergency Management Agency released new funding this week designated for the TLC Hospital Network and the Lake Shore hospital.

FEMA funds secured for Lakeshore Hospital

Jan 16, 2014

Some federal funding has been secured as part of the fight to keep a Chautauqua County hospital open. Western New York Congressman Tom Reed says he has secured FEMA dollars for Lake Shore Hospital in Irving.


Ashley Hirtzel/WBFO News

Erie County will not have to repay millions in federal aid it received following the October 2006 surprise storm.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

Severe flood waters in 2009 destroyed the hospital on Memorial Drive in Gowanda.

Cuomo announces flood aid for Niagara County

Jul 17, 2013
File photo

Some relief is on the way for Niagara County homeowners and business operators whose property was damaged by recent flooding.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding Wednesday.

Niagara County seeking FEMA aid for flooding

Jul 2, 2013
Niagara County Sheriff Facebook page

Governor Cuomo is adding Niagara County to the state's request for federal disaster aid following last week's flash flood. Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker met with U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Lt. Governor Robert Duffy Tuesday morning and toured some of the damage left by Friday's storm.

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Former County Executive Joel Giambra says he did the right thing in cleaning up the October Surprise storm, no matter what Washington says more than six years later.

WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

A federal audit says Erie County should pay back $48.5 million in disaster relief costs associated with the 2006 'October Surprise' snowstorm. 

FEMA is only now reimbursing for repairs in The Village of Gowanda where Thatcher Brook rose up and flooded the village in August of 2009.

Mike Desmond/wbfo

Lackawanna says high flood insurance rates are creating problems for homes and businesses.

It's fairly standard for mortgage companies to require homeowner insurance on a home. If it's in a FEMA designated flood plain, flood insurance is also required and that may not be cheap.

With the help of Rep. Brian Higgins, major changes were made in the flood plains in South Buffalo, taking many homes off the insurance bills.

Now, Lackawanna says new maps aren't fair since they left about the same number of homes and businesses required to get the insurance.