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Grants for gas station backup generators announced

Gas station owners along highways and evacuation routes will be able to qualify for grants to purchase and install backup generators, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced Monday.

The $5.1 million in federal funds will offset 75 percent of the costs for gas station owners, who now need to comply with a new New York State law passed in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. That law requires gas stations within a half mile of a highway exit or hurricane evacuation route to have a "transfer switch" installed to deploy a generator within 24 hours of losing power during a fuel supply or energy emergency.

"Far too many gas stations had plenty of gas, but had no power to pump it out," Schumer said in a statement.

Gillibrand said in a statement, "As we learn the lessons of the storm, we must develop a national, storm-resilient strategy to ensure that communities across New York are armed with innovative practices to protect New York from future disasters."

Equipment will be installed above the 500-year flood level as identified on FEMA flood maps, Schumer and Gillibrand said in a statement. The money comes through FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant, which aims to reduce danger to property during the next disaster.

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