By Jessica Bagley , firstname.lastname@example.org
Niagara Gazette — Almost one year after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee hit New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a comprehensive report Thursday detailing the aid the state has provided to affected areas.
More than $574 million has been distributed to communities across the state to help them rebuild and recover in the past year, including $277 million in direct aid for families, individuals, businesses, and farms.
Another $137 million was given to the seven hardest hit counties — Broome, Delaware, Essex, Greene, Orange, Schoharie and Tioga, where 774 farms and 741 businesses have received direct aid from the state.
Cuomo also announced a series of a new funds for areas hit by the storms, including $2.4 million for dam repairs, $500,000 to assist businesses and homeowners in the hard-hit Town of Prattsville, and $145,000 in grants to first-responder organizations in Schoharie County. The funding will also help expand cell phone coverage in the Northern Catskills, which will help first-responders identify needy areas in the event of another storm.
“A year later, we remember the extraordinary response efforts of the thousands of brave men and women in emergency services, law enforcement, and the National Guard who put their lives on the line to protect countless New Yorkers,” Cuomo said.
Hurricane Irene hit New York on Aug. 28, and Tropical Storm Lee reached the state Sept. 7.
“For all of the destruction and damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, these storms could not break the kindred spirit of New Yorkers,” Cuomo said. “And in the aftermath we experienced an unprecedented outpouring of good will with neighbor helping neighbor and communities coming together to rebuild as one.”