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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 24, 1996


The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of New York and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms and flooding beginning January 19, 1996 and continuing.

The President's action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in a six county area. The counties include Chemung, Delaware, Schoharie, Steuben, Sullivan and Ulster.

Assistance can include disaster housing, grants, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

James L. Witt, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), named Joe Picciano of FEMA's regional office in New York to coordinate Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

The Agency said that damage surveys are continuing in other areas, and additional counties may be added after the assessments are completed.

The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance immediately by calling 1-800-462-9029 or 1-800-462-7585 (TDD) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CT) seven days a week until further notice.

For further information contact: FEMA 202/646-4600.