8,000 plus in Hudson Valley apply for FEMA aid
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Three weeks after Hurricane Sandy hammered the East Coast, more than 8,000 Hudson Valley residents have filed compensation claims for storm damage with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, officials said Monday.
Figures provided by FEMA show the lion's share of claims, about 4,183, have been filed by home or business owners in Westchester County, followed by 2,576 in Rockland County; 749 in Putnam County and 716 in Orange County.
Statewide, including New York City and Long Island, more than 214,612 have filed claims, according to FEMA figures.
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To date, more than $535 million in federal funds has been made available for New Yorkers whose homes or properties were damaged in the storm. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has estimated there was more than $30 billion in damage statewide.
FEMA spokesman Gary Weidner said once a claim is filed and all the paperwork is completed, an inspector will come out to check out the damage. If the claim is legitimate, property owners can expect to be compensated within a few weeks.
"As long as there are no unusual circumstances, the process is designed to work quickly," Weidner said.
He said property owners should file a claim even if the damage is minor.
"The inspector will come out and he may see something down the line is going to create a problem," Weidner said.
Hudson Valley residents seeking information or help applying for federal aid after Sandy can go to disaster recovery centers scattered throughout the region.
In Westchester County, the recovery center at the Westchester Government Center in White Plains will be open Monday to Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. In Rockland, the centers are at Piermont Village Hall, 478 Piermont Ave., from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Another is open daily at Provident Bank Park in Ramapo from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will continue to run until further notice. In Orange, residents can apply at 99 Training Center Lane in New Hampton.
All of the recovery centers will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Residents also can register for FEMA assistance online at www.disasterassistance.gov or can call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Phone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
Hurricane Sandy hit the region Oct. 29. The storm knocked out power to 90 percent of Long Island, flooded New York City subways and tunnels and killed more than 100 people on the East Coast.