BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — An Emergency Disaster Declaration was signed by President Biden on Monday in the wake of the Buffalo blizzard, officials announced. The declaration was signed after a deadly blizzard impacted large portions of Western New York over the holiday weekend. It is expected to be approved by President Biden for use in both Erie and Genesee counties, including for search and rescue operations in the City of Buffalo.

“We want to make sure that our localities know to keep track of their expenses in search of reimbursement from the federal government,” said Hochul. Once it is declared, grant assistance would be made available to state, local government, and some non-profit organizations. The grant assistance would offer reimbursement for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities caused by the blizzard.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand urged President Biden to approve the Emergency declaration for communities impacted by the blizzard. Prior to the blizzard, a State of Emergency was declared for all over New York State with local municipalities enacting their own State of Emergencies.

Due to the force of the blizzard, thousands were left without power in sub-zero wind chills and whiteout conditions. Hochul deployed members of the National Guard to aid in emergency efforts amid the storm. Due to the severity of the storm, several municipalities were left with limited emergency services.