2009-12-04 / Top Stories

Senators Ask For Beach Aid

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schu - mer and Kirsten Gillibrand called on New York State to request a federal disaster declaration as soon as possible for the Long Island beaches ravaged by recent storms in order to make them and other nearby beaches eligible for federal disaster aid to pay for the significant repairs required. Schumer and Gillibrand said that the initial damage estimates show that Long Island is well above the required minimum needed to be eligible for aid. After the State requests the declaration, Schumer and Gilli - brand can push the Admini - stration for swift approval. Dam - age and erosion up and down the Long Island shore line have created a near crisis situation, with dunes so severely eroded they are at risk for breach this winter. FEMA is set to tour Suffolk's damage this week with State and local emergency management officials.

"We have to do a full court press at all levels of government because Long Island's precious beaches are in dangerous condition and need this disaster aid now," Schumer said. "The disaster declaration request will allow us at the federal level to push for quick approval of the desperately needed funding."

"It is critical that we open up additional funds for the replenishment of Long Island's beaches as quickly as possible," Senator Gillibrand said. "We cannot just sit here and wait for a severe winter storm to devastate our coastal communities throughout Suff olk County and Fire Island. Once Governor Paterson requests a federal disaster declaration, I will work with Senator Schumer to ensure FEMA comes through on their part. Long Island's residents should not be left shouldering all of the cost."

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