These damages were caused by Tropical Storm Irene's heavy winds and immense flooding last fall. On August 31, the MTA submitted its final request to both FEMA and its private insurer after fronting nearly $65 million to cover the costs of track damages. In a letter to FEMA following MTA's request, U.S. Sentator Charles Schumer (D-NY) urged the agency to swiftly reimburse the MTA for repair work.
"FEMA's $1.5 million disaster funding for this segment of the Port Jervis MTA line is great news and will help the MTA and commuters pay for repairs after Tropical Storm Irene caused millions in damages to the Hudson Valley rail line," said Schumer. "While the Port Jervis line is back up and running at full speed, this funding will be critical in Orange County's continued recovery from last year's storm and will ensure that the MTA and its riders don't have to shoulder the burden of the millions in damages alone."
Schumer stated in August that following the storms, the MTA was forced to pay millions in repair upfront for a two-mile stretch between Suffern and Harriman that was completely washed away. He highlighted in his letter that it is now critical that FEMA reimburse the MTA, given that approximately one-third of their claims will go towards reimbursement for work completed on the Port Jervis line that has already been completed. MTA completed repair work quickly following the storm, in order to ensure that the Port Jervis line regained function as soon as possible for commuters who rely on the line to go to and from work every day.