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MORE UPSTATE COUNTIES TO GET DISASTER FUNDS

More federal disaster funds are on the way to help 15 upstate New York counties recover from Hurricane Frances and other intense rainstorms in August and September, Gov. George E. Pataki and Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Tuesday. Included are Allegany, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Niagara and Orleans counties.

The new aid package includes individual assistance to homeowners, renters and small businesses for damage caused by heavy rain between Aug. 13 and Sept. 16. Grants are available for home repairs, temporary housing and disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans are available to cover losses not covered by insurance.

Local governments in the 15 counties also are eligible for state and federal reimbursement for flood protective measures, cleanup from flooding and repairs to infrastructure, such as roads and bridges.

To apply for assistance, call the Federal Emergency Management Agency telephone registry service at (800) 621-FEMA between 6 a.m. and midnight Monday through Friday. Registration also can be made via the Internet at www.fema.gov.

FEMA originally approved 10 counties for federal assistance as disaster areas. The additional 15 were approved after appeals by Schumer and Pataki.

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