ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — President Joe Biden has approved an emergency declaration request for several New York counties following the historic winter storm, according to a press release from New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

This includes Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties, as well as Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, and Wyoming as all received massive amounts of lake effect snow. This totaled over six feet of snow in parts of Erie and Jefferson counties.

Throughout the storm, these 11 counties experienced snowfall rates of two-to-three inches per hour, which created dangerous travel conditions.

The request for an Emergency Declaration for these counties was submitted by Governor Hochul on Sunday, November 20 as storm cleanup efforts continued.

“I thank President Biden for immediately granting our emergency declaration request and for our ongoing strong partnership as well as Senator Schumer for his assistance in securing relief for New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said in the press release. “My team and I will continue working around the clock to keep everyone safe, help communities dig out, and secure every last dollar to help rebuild and recover from this unprecedented, record-shattering historic winter storm.” 

Under this Emergency Declaration, direct federal assistance is available to the listed counties and FEMA can provide emergency protective measures for the State. This includes search and rescue operations, and actions to protect roads and bridges, water control facilities, utilities, and mass transit facilities.

These declarations supplement State and local efforts in providing emergency services. Under direction from Governor Hochul, New York’s emergency response assets remain on the ground in affected areas of Western New York, Central New York, and the North Country.

Governor Hochul said that the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Disaster Recovery team will immediately begin working with the 11 counties to maximize federal assistance.