Gov. Andrew Cuomo just announced that Westchester and Rockland counties have been added to the federal disaster declaration issued by President Obama in the aftermath of Sandy. Both counties have been designated for Individual Assistance and Public Assistance Category A and B, as well as DFA Direct Federal Assistance.

“Once again I would like to thank our partners in the federal government, especially President Obama, for their quick response to my request for assistance on behalf of Westchester and Rockland counties,” Cuomo said. “New York appreciates all the support we have received from Washington as we continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy.”

Hudson Valley elected officials have been calling for these two counties to be added to the declaration. Rep. Nita Lowey might have been one of the first to do so.

That brings the number of counties covered by the declaration to nine. The original seven were all five boroughs of NYC and the two counties on Long Island: New York, Kings, Queens, Richmond, Bronx, Nassau and Suffolk.

As a result of this declaration, the federal government can send aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts as of OCt. 27 and continuing throughout the recovery.

In addition, federal funding is available to affected individuals in the affected counties. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Earlier this week, Cuomo sent a letter to the president asking for a waiver to the 90 percent reimbursement cap for disaster recovery costs. He’s hoping to recoup 100 percent of whatever Sandy ends up costing the state.

In that letter, Cuomo said the initial cost estimate of this storm is $6 billion, but that number is likely to grow.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, while saying it’s still too early to put a specific dollar amount on Sandy, has said it will likely cost the state tens of billions of dollars to fully recover from the storm.