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Governor George E. Pataki tonight announced that his request for a major federal disaster declaration for New York State in response to the attack on the World Trade Center has been approved by President Bush.
"In the wake of today's cowardly and horrific attack on the World Trade Center, we have launched an unprecedented emergency response effort to save lives, treat the injured and help New York City recover," Governor Pataki said. "We welcome the President's quick, positive response to help New Yorkers in their time of need. While the National Guard and other State resources continue to help people, the news of this federal assistance is greatly appreciated."
The Governor also announced that the New York National Guard has deployed, for the first time ever, the federally-certified Civil Support Team (CST). The CST has arrived in New York City with a mission to assist first responders in identifying hazardous materials related to disasters. An additional 2,490 National Guard troops are being mobilized and readied for deployment. National Guard personnel will be conducting security and medical transport missions. The Guard currently has 117 pieces of engineering equipment en route to Stewart Airport and Camp Smith for use in recovery efforts in the city.
"We are continuing to expedite all State personnel and equipment to help in the massive rescue and recovery effort in New York City," the Governor said. "Thousands more of our employees across the State will work through the night to support this effort."
Two hundred New York State Police troopers are already in New York City and an additional 300 personnel are due to arrive overnight.
The federal disaster declaration will provide financial assistance to help New York recover from the response and recovery efforts from this horrific event. This will also allow the federal government to provide direct resources to assist the State in its response and recovery efforts. The assistance can include funds to help meet temporary housing needs, grants for medical, funeral and other serious disaster related expenses. Unemployment assistance and funding for crisis counseling services also will be available under the declaration.
Federal funds will be provided to the State and affected local governments to pay for debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster, and repairing and replacing public facilities damaged by the explosions and fires.
The following is an update of the actions Governor Pataki has directed State agencies to take in response to today's tragedy:
The Governor has directed that all State government offices located in Manhattan at 14th Street and south of 14th Street will be closed on Wednesday, September 12. All other State government offices will be open.
Governor Pataki amended the Executive Order he issued today declaring a Disaster Emergency by 1) Directing the State Adjutant General to order into active service the organized militia to assist civil agencies and authorities in disaster recovery efforts, and 2) authorizing banking organizations, at their discretion, to close any or all of their places of business affected by the emergency.
Tonight, a State Police Aviation unit will fly 860 pounds of blood plasma from Alliance Health of Montgomery County to Virginia to assist victims of the Pentagon attack today. State Police Aviation has been flying numerous missions of emergency medical supplies into and through New York State today to New York City.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is dispatching a contingent of staff to the State Emergency Operations Center in Albany. In addition, FEMA has dispatched four disaster mortuary teams, eight urban search and rescue teams and a national disaster medical team to New York City.
The New York State Department of Health reports that three hospitals NYU, St. Vincent's and Bellevue -- have handled the majority of patients today, totaling 900. The emergency department load in New York City is easing, with a total of 1,500 to 2,000 treated and released today. There are 3,000 available beds in New York City and the immediate area. Medical supplies from the CDC stockpile are in or en route to the City. Additional supplies will be flown in to Stewart overnight. The Department of Health has brought in 90 ambulances with crews from the statewide EMS community. An additional 40 replacement ambulances with crews will be available in the morning.
A New York State highway Emergency Task Force staging area for equipment and supplies has been set up at Stewart Airport in Newburgh. Motor transport vehicles are being identified and dispatched to Stewart to expedite delivery of supplies to New York City. Equipment at Stewart includes two refrigerator trucks (donated by Price Chopper and Shop Rite). Additional flights containing medical supplies, Humvees and personnel are due in to Stewart tonight.
In the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack, the Governor's Office of Employee Relations has announced that the following services are available to New York State employees: 1)a toll-free number 1-800-847- 5437 through Ceridian Corporation to provide telephonic counseling. 2) Resource and referral services are also available through local Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Coordinators or by calling 1-800-822-0244.
The New York State Department of Corrections is currently moving eight portable light towers into the Albany area for deployment when necessary to New York City for lighting for night operations.
The New York State Department of Transportation (Region 1- Albany, Region 2 - Utica, Region 8 - Poughkeepsie and Region 9 - Binghamton) are each providing two tractor trailers, two loaders, four small dump trucks, and two rack trucks. Region 8 is also providing six large dump trucks. All will be staged at Stewart Field.
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