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Obama OKs Federal Aid For NYC Tornado Cleanup

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Tree stumps and debris crowd Clyde St. in Forest Hills (File Photo/Carol D'Auria)

Tree stumps and debris crowd Clyde St. in Forest Hills (File Photo/Carol D’Auria)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — President Obama has declared a major disaster in New York City following last month’s deadly storm that spawned two devastating tornadoes, killing one woman and causing massive damage.

Gov. Paterson announced Thursday that Obama issued the federal disaster declaration for Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The declaration clears the way for an influx of federal funds to pay for up to 75 percent of the response, debris removal and repairs to public property.

Federal and state inspectors have estimated the damage and cleanup costs at $27 million.

The Sept. 16 storm barreled across the three boroughs, toppling thousands of trees. A macroburst with winds up to 125 mph added to the destruction.

One tree came down on the parked car where Iline Levakis was sitting, killing her.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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