JASPER, N.Y. (WETM) — It’s been almost a year since Tropical Storm Fred ravaged the Southern Tier, bringing heavy rains to multiple counties, hitting Steuben County the hardest.

In the path of the floodwaters was the Jasper-Troupsburg High School, which was impacted by nearly four feet of water, mud, and debris. As a result, the building was closed, and students had to be relocated to a neighboring school.

After a federal disaster declaration was made in the county, it was able to unlock critical federal aid to bolster the recovery in the Southern Tier.

On Wednesday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that FEMA has awarded $5,630,020 to cover the Jasper-Troupsburg Central School District for Emergency Protective Measures.

The funding, provided at a 90% federal cost share, will reimburse the school for costs from emergency cleanup and restoration measures taken to protect the buildings from further damage from the flood.

“Tropical Storm Fred ravaged Steuben County Last August, causing millions in damages to the region’s homes, businesses, and schools,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Ever since the tremendous impact of the storm became clear, I have been fighting to get federal relief to the county,” she said, “and now, I’m proud to be delivering over $5 million to the Jasper-Torupsburg Central School District. I’ll keep fighting to make sure Steuben County makes a full recovery,” she said.

During an interview with Jasper-Troupsburg Superintendent LeeAnne Jordan, she said that the cleanup of the high school’s campus and sports complex was finished in early November of 2021. She said that the building is being kept at a sustainable temperature to prevent further damage, and is coordinating with FEMA to see what the next steps are for the building and when students can be moved back in.

On Wednesday, Jordan was presented with new information that FEMA was reviewing the estimates for the building. This will leave the school district and the community with options as to whether they rebuild in the same location, or a full new build somewhere else.

“I would say that we are going to probably be in this Greenwood building for a couple years,” Jordan said when asked about when we could see students back in the school. “It just depends,” she said, “some things in the process have gone very quickly and other things have taken more time,” she said.

Jordan pointed out that all the costs would not impact taxpayers at all, and that FEMA will be covering 90% and the state covering the last 10%.