New York state officials are considering how to spend $41.2 million in approved federal recovery aid from flash floods created by the remnants of Hurricane Ida last year.
The review will include public comments from communities affected by the flooding, which has spread through New York City and the tri-state area.
The money will be used to help rebuild, but also comes with a ‘resilience’ element to strengthen structures against future severe weather effects created by climate change. Public hearings will begin September 8 to develop an action plan on how to distribute the funding.
“As New Yorkers continue to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, we remain fully committed to rebuilding our infrastructure, especially in our most vulnerable communities,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Our action plan will prioritize funding for housing, businesses and other key programs in the most affected and distressed areas – helping to ensure that all New Yorkers recover as we recover. “As we deal with the effects of climate change, we will continue to do everything in our power to help New Yorkers and their communities recover from extreme weather events.”
The sudden flash flood washed away people, flooding roads, walkways and basement homes, marking one of the first crises Hochul faced in the days after he took office. The floods caused $7.5 billion in damage and 17 New Yorkers were killed while 11,000 homes were damaged.
State officials want to make sure the money is also spent fairly and distributed to low-income communities that have also been affected.
“Hurricane Ida was a stark reminder that the next weather emergency is not a matter of if, but when,” said Katie Brennan, executive director of the Office of Storm Recovery in the governor’s office. “Our action plan will help New Yorkers rebuild and take steps to protect themselves in the future.”