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The Empire

New York declared a federal disaster area: Cuomo

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President Obama made it official: New York is now a federally recognized disaster area.

"I thank President Obama for his quick action granting New York a federal disaster declaration," Governor Cuomo said in a statement. "The damage incurred by Irene has devastated communities in counties across our State, leaving many without homes and towns and villages without essential public infrastructure. All levels of government are working together to help New York recover and we will not stop until the job is done."

The Federal government will supply financial and other assistance in helping predominantly upstate counties recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Irene.

On a related note, the governor's office has said 78 percent of homes have had powered restored. That leaves 328,907 homes still without power, with the majority of those out on Long Island.