Long Island home and business owners recovering from Tropical Storm Irene are now eligible for federal disaster assistance.
Nassau, Westchester and Rensselaer counties were at first left off the list of New York counties eligible for expedited assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday. Suffolk County received approval for aid Friday.
“Hurricane damage knows no boundaries, and we are grateful to all or elected representatives who lobbied for this declaration, and the FEMA staff who visited our county yesterday to personally assess the conditions,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy.
The aid means low-interest loans will be available to homes owners, renters and businesses from the Small Business Administration. In addition, residents can apply for FEMA grants up to $30,200.
FEMA had previously agreed to help Long Island local governments with the cost of emergency management, storm cleanup and damage to public property.
In the meantime, the American Red Cross will distribute food and cleaning supplies at two locations in Suffolk County this weekend.
The Red Cross says it will operate support sites in Babylon and in Bay Shore from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Volunteers will hand out self-heating meals, water, snacks and cleanup supplies.
Tens of thousands of people on Long Island are still without a week after Irene slammed the region.
Residents who think they are eligible must call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
-With Associated Press