Thirty members of Congress from both parties whose districts were devastated by Hurricane Irene have banded together to form the bipartisan Hurricane Irene Coalition.
Area Reps. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, and Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, are among the group's 11 co-chairs.
"My absolute first priority is ensuring communities in Upstate New York - and across the country - have the federal support they need to repair and rebuild," Gibson said in a press release. "Towns in my district were completely destroyed, roads and bridges wiped out, and constituents lost homes, businesses, farms, and a countless number of personal possessions. I am heartened by this bipartisan effort to ensure we expedite federal aid money, particularly to those hardest hit."
The coalition will work to ensure the Federal Emergency Management Agency has the resources needed to support the recovery effort, and work with FEMA and other federal agencies to help members support recovery efforts.