The day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared seven Western New York counties a disaster, Governor Andrew Cuomo is requesting federal approval to declare nine counties a major disaster area.
The governor wants to issue a major disaster declaration for Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Orleans, St. Lawrence and Wyoming counties. He says state and local governments have spent more than $46.6 million in response costs and verified infrastructure damage as a result of the Snowvember storms.
His office says the declaration is the next step in seeking financial assistance from the federal government after the $27.3 million damage threshold is met.
On Wednesday, the USDA declared a disaster in Genesee, Erie, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties due to millions of dollars of damage incurred by farmers. Cuomo says it’s estimated the agricultural industry suffered more than $15 million.
Fourteen people have died as a result of the storm and more than 370 buildings suffered roof damage. Thirty-eight buildings were destroyed.