FEMA to release funds to cover Christmas blizzard, but local share is unknown

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Damage to the Southold Town Beach (photo taken December 28, 2010).

New York state is eligible for federal disaster aid for the blizzard that caused severe erosion on the East End on Dec. 26, 2010, but Southold Town will likely not know how much federal aid might be released until after a meeting with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials on March 8.

FEMA recently announced that federal disaster aid will be made available to local governments and some private nonprofit organizations in Nassau and Suffolk counties for “emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe winter storm.”

The federal agency will pay not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing public facilities and not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for removing debris from public areas. But FEMA will pay not more than 75 percent of the cost of hazard mitigation projects in the wake of the storm.

The March 8 meeting will be held at Suffolk County Department of Fire and Rescue headquarters, according to Southold Town network and systems administrator Lloyd Reisenberg, who compiled the town’s storm damage report.

Mr. Reisenberg said the town has submitted a plan for long-term repair of the parking lot at Town Beach in Southold that will stand up to future storms. The parking lot has been closed since the storm because the asphalt was undercut and is crumbling due to stripping away of the underlying sand.

The town is also seeking federal help to repair several hundred feet of road between Goldin Lane and the end of Soundview Avenue, also in Southold. That road has also been closed to traffic since the storm. In addition, the town seeks funds to replenish sand lost at Town Beach, McCabe’s Beach and Kenny’s Beach.

At the March 8 meeting, officials will receive information on how to apply for the aid, which will be distributed through New York State.

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