WASHINGTON, D.C. - New funding could be available soon to protect our communities from natural disasters. The funding helps local governments invest in projects to deal with flooding, rising water levels, coastal erosion and more. The funding comes from the STORM Act. It is a law that passed in 2021. 

The funding is different than typical FEMA grants. This funding will be used to help states establish a revolving loan programs for local governments to carry out mitigation projects that reduce natural disaster risk including extreme flooding, shoreline erosion and rising water levels that have put homes, businesses, property and communities at risk and could cause millions of dollars in damage if not protected.  

We spoke with people from the Regional Science Consortium in the Erie area on these types of issues. They tell me flooding in the parking lots in Presque Island State Park could be impacted if the sand dunes and coastal resilience isn’t maintained, especially with storm events. These funds could potentially help communities deal with shoreline erosion, which is something the Regional Science Consortium is watching out for.  

Senator Gary Peters (D- MI) told us we know that climate change is causing storms that are happening with great frequency and intensity and sometimes our infrastructure is simply not designed to handle that. These funds could be a game changer for communities across the nation.  

“The fact that you look at just the economics of this investment every dollar you invest upfront to make our infrastructure more resilient, saves roughly six dollars for the taxpayers,” said Sen. Peters. “This makes good economic sense, and it allows FEMA to make these kinds of investments upfront.” 

FEMA announced that seven states including New York will get a combined 50 million in this loan program.